What you see above isn’t a rural gravel road. It’s a Louisiana waterway, its surface completely covered with dead sea life — a mishmash of species of fish, crabs, stingray and eel. New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports that even a whale was found dead in the area.
Fish kills are fairly common along the Gulf Coast, particularly during the summer in the area near the mouth of the Mississippi, the site of this kill. The area is rife with dead zones — stretches where sudden oxygen depletion can cause widespread death. But those kills tend to be limited to a single species of fish, rather than the broad sort of die-off involved in this kill.
And therein lies the concern of Gulf residents, who suspect this may be yet another side effect of the catastrophic BP oil spill.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser sounded the alarm bells Monday, distributing the photos here to the local media. Nungesser said that no testing is currently planned to determine how the kill may relate to the BP oil disaster, but he pleaded with officials from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to investigate. Read more
(Photos via Billy Nungesser/WWL)
Follow up story: Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries confirmed that the cause of the Kill was low oxygen levels in the shallow water that had trapped the fish during low tide. Fish kills are common in Louisianas coastal region during summer and fall.