Dead Zones, Worldwide: More Now Than Ever Before
Gristmill had it today, and here’s an AP story about it.
The UNEP press release is here. It says:
the full list of new or newly-registered sites would be available in early 2007
by which I infer that some of the 64 new locations might have been dead zones for a while and have just recently been documented while others are in fact new since 2004. From the press release:
De-oxygenated zones are areas where algal blooms, triggered by nutrients from sources including fertilizer run off, sewage, animal wastes and atmospheric deposition from the burning of fossil fuels, can remove oxygen from the water.
The low levels of oxygen in the water make it difficult for fish, oysters and other marine creatures to survive as well as important habitats such as sea grass beds.
Experts claim that the number and size of deoxygenated areas is on the rise with the total number detected rising every decade since the 1970s. They are warning that these areas are fast becoming major threats to fish stocks and thus to the people who depend upon fisheries for food and livelihoods.