The Beacon

Another Threat To The Gulf: Bottom Trawling

The ROV is lowered into the Gulf. © Oceana/Soledad Esnaola

The Gulf of Mexico is threatened by more than just offshore drilling. Industrial fishing has destroyed many habitats already, as our team saw yesterday. Here's Dustin's update from the Latitude:

A recent story by the Associated Press revealed that there are more than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these wells are believed to still be leaking oil into the Gulf.

Oceana sent its ROV from Chile down (approximately 90 feet to the seafloor) today off the coast of Alabama to investigate an abandoned oil well that began drilling in 1981.

Oceana was unable to find any infrastructure from the abandoned well. However, the ROV did allow us to see the result of using destructive fishing gear in the area. The sea floor at this location was leveled. Trawls appeared to have bulldozed everything in their path, leaving only broken shells and a few remaining fish and sea stars.

Here's Oceana's ROV operator and science director for Chile Matthias Gorny:

 

 

 


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