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November 24 2012

Gulf spill harmed small fish, studies indicate

LONG BEACH, Calif. ó Two years after BPís Deepwater Horizon well blowout, laboratory studies are finally offering clues to the spilled oilís impact on sea life. Brief, very low exposures to oil were capable of killing many fish embryos and hatchlings, new studies show. Those that survived often exhibited major deformities that would diminish an animalís fitness.

Affected species ranged from the young of large open-ocean denizens, such as tuna, to minnow-sized coastal homebodies ó the tiny fish that serve as lunch for everyone bigger. Researchers shared their findings in mid-November during a symposium at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistryís annual meeting.

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