Deep sea recovery from US Gulf spill could take decades: Study
WASHINGTON - Reuters
The deep-sea ecosystem around the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover from the effects of the disaster, researchers have said. AP photoThe muddy deep-sea ecosystem around the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover from the effects of the disaster, researchers reported on Tuesday.
The oil spill from BP Plc’s Macondo well had its most severe impact on the ecosystem in an area about 24 square km around the wellhead, the report in the online scientific journal PLoS One said.Moderate effects were seen at 148 square km. The sea bottom’s rich biodiversity was greatly reduced by the oil plume, which was up to 183 meters thick and 1.9 km wide, it said. The disaster triggered the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
“Given deep-sea conditions, it is possible that recovery of deep-sea soft-bottom habitat and the associated communities in the vicinity of the DWH blowout will take decades or longer,” it said.