Ocean “dead zones” spread
Spanish scientists find that fish are more at risk as ocean pollution grows.1 October 2008
MADRID -- Ocean “dead zones”, where there is not enough oxygen to support most marine life, are growing at five percent per year, faster than was previously thought, Spanish scientists said on Monday.
Dead zones are found where algae takes oxygen from water, feeding on chemical fertilizers and other pollutants, and kills fish, lobster, crab and shrimp.
Scientists previously thought that marine animals die when oxygen in polluted areas falls below two milligrams per litre of water, but researchers at Spain's High Council for Scientific Research found that fish die even when water has more oxygen.
"We expect the expansion of zones that suffer hypoxia [low oxygen] to accelerate... and the excessive increase in nutrients and organic matter that help algae to grow", Raquel Vaquer, the study's lead researcher, said.
[El Pais / Expatica]