The August 12th issue of Nature highlights the research of Jack Barth, Francis Chan, Ed DeLong, Alan Mix and Osvaldo Ulloa, who are studying the variability of low-oxygen zones and the impact on fish and marine animals off the Oregon coast. The severity of oxygen depletion in these coastal waters varies, but has resulted in recent years in vast kills of marine organisms. This research is funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative.
The dead fish were one of the first signs. In July 2002, scientists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found unusual numbers of bottomfeeding sculpin lying lifeless on the ocean floor, which would normally be teeming with life. Crabs were also dying, and they washed up onto some beaches in large numbers.
Read the full article here.