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DATE: April 15, 2020

SNIP: A new study has revealed disturbing observations about the long-term impact of the 2010 BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ten years after the spill, researchers are still finding oil in fish populations.

Since the 2010 BP oil spill, marine scientists at the University of South Florida (USF) have sampled more than 2,500 individual fish representing 91 species from 359 locations across the Gulf of Mexico and found evidence of oil exposure in all of them, including some of the most popular types of seafood. The highest levels were detected in yellowfin tuna, golden tilefish and red drum.

The study was published recently in the journal, “Nature Scientific Reports.” It examined 2,500 individual fish locations across the gulf. Some of the oil compounds found in the fish can be passed onto future generations through their eggs.

Fish with the highest concentrations of PAH were found in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a region of increased oil and gas activity and in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon spill that gushed nearly four million barrels of oil over the course of three months in 2010. Oil-rich sediments at the bottom where much of the oil settled are resuspended by storms and currents, re-exposing bottom-dwelling fish.