Effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Announcing the release of the Endangered Species Research special-themed issue on the effects of Deepwater Horizon. We are extremely proud to have worked on this as part of a collaborate effort with CREEM, SMRU and NOAA.

This special-themed issue of Endangered Species Research contains over 20 studies on the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on endangered marine life such as bottlenose dolphins. These studies, amongst others, were used for the Natural Resources Damage Assessment settlement with BP, of which $307 million will be allocated to the recovery of marine mammals and turtles.

The papers presented in this special-themed issue are the result of a huge collaborative effort to understand the impacts on marine mammals and turtles, involving more than five years of data collection and analysis. The papers concluded that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed thousands of marine mammals and sea turtles, and contaminated their habitats.  The research found that the dolphins are still in poor health conditions, with lung disease, reduced survival rates and high levels of reproductive failure. The recovery of the dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico has been slow and analysis has estimated that the dolphin population in Barataria Bay will be reduced by 50% within the decade following the spill and that full population recovery will take nearly 40 years and will require extensive long-term monitoring and restoration efforts.

Cormac Booth from SMRU Consulting Europe was second author on the paper:  Where were they from? Modelling the source stock of dolphins stranded after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using genetic and stable isotope data. This paper presents the work done to investigate which stocks the stranded dolphins came from in order to understand how each dolphin stock in the area had been impacted.

Here are links to other papers from our colleagues Ailsa Hall at SMRU and Len Thomas at CREEM:

The entire special-theme issue can be found HERE with links to each paper.

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