As you probably know, a massive floating oil rig off the coast of Louisiana suffered an explosion and fire, sank and, as of yesterday, is reported to be leaking oil from some yet to be defined source underwater.
Here's a post from SharkDivers, bringing up the issue of the oil threat to whale sharks that cruise the area. Unfortunately, this could be only the beginning. . .
Oil Spill in the Gulf - Whale Shark Impact?
Sunday, April 25, 2010
For the past two years we have been covering whale shark aggregations off the coast of Morgan City, Louisiana.
Upwards of 40-100 animals at a time have been sighted here year after year and have become both industry and major media news.
Scientist Eric Hoffmayer has been studying these groups as far out as 100 miles from shore and that's where this week's news from the Gulf takes a decidedly nasty turn.
The Swiss-based Transocean Ltd's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sunk last week, leaving many in the region to worry about ongoing oil seeping from the wellhead at 5000 feet. The worst case scenario has happened and now experts agree close to 1000 barrels a day are leaking to the surface or close to 42,000 gallons of oil.
Oil clean-up crews have dumped over a million gallons of chemical oil dispersant into the region and more is sure to come in an effort to break up the oil on the surface. As whale sharks feed on the surface this oil and chemical dispersant does not bode well for these peaceful giants of the Gulf.