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Gulf oil spill: An "ecological disaster"?

05-03-2010 10:23 BJT

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Analysts say the oil leak is a severe threat to sea life in the Gulf of Mexico, and could damage the fragile ecosystem.

The Gulf of Mexico coastal area is one of the world's richest seafood suppliers, providing shrimp and oysters for a very wide market. About 70 percent of the shrimp consumed in the US is caught there. It's an industry worth over 400 million US dollars. With the start of the shrimp season, the spill is likely to cause severe damage to the industry.

Fishermen, in the region have filed a lawsuit against oil giant British Petroleum. Another concern, is that over 40 percent of the everglades in the US are located nearby. The Gulf is also an important stop for migrating birds. Analysts, say tides and winds could PUSH the oil deep into the marsh.

Fishermen who have been recruited to help clean up the massive oil spill created in the aftermath of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig listen during a health and safety seminar given by BP at Boothville-Venice School in Boothville, Louisiana. Much of the shrimp, crab and oyster fishing in the area has been damaged by the spill.(AFP/Getty Images/Scott Olson) 
Fishermen who have been recruited to help clean up the massive oil 
spill created in the aftermath of the April 20 explosion of the 
Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig listen during a health and 
safety seminar given by BP at Boothville-Venice School in Boothville, 
Louisiana. Much of the shrimp, crab and oyster fishing in the 
area has been damaged by the spill.(AFP/Getty Images/Scott Olson)

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