Our knowledge of the effects of even low levels of oil on fish populations continue to grow. This will have impacts on our port, and points to more needs for storm water solutions that include eventual re-design of almost every highway in the state, to stop car runoff into our waterways. It won’t happen overnight, but is happening and will continue to, given these findings. It’s our food sources vs. business as usual with autos.
Federal scientists based in Seattle and Alaska have found that oil — by impairing heart functions — can cause serious harm to herring and pink salmon at far lower concentrations than previously documented. The research, published Tuesday online in Nature’s Scientific Reports, could help unravel the mystery of why herring stocks in Prince William Sound collapsed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Their work also has implications about the effects of low levels of chronic oil pollution in Puget Sound and elsewhere in the world. “What this study shows is that in very, very low concentration of oil, embryonic fish … get born with a mild heart defect,” said John Incardona, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration toxicologist at a Seattle fisheries science center. He is one of 10 co-authors of the study. Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)