NOAA and various sister agencies have termed a specific part of the Gulf of Mexico as a dead zone of sorts. The oxygen levels are very low in this area and marine life is scarce.
The experts’ opinions are in. This year the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico will be an area of little oxygen where fish and marine life is few and far between.
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It comprises an area that is approximately 5,898 square miles of territory. That is the size of the state of Connecticut. Thus the dead zone remains pretty much like it had been several years ago.
The dead zone in the Mexican Gulf affects the business potential of many fisheries of the region. The reason behind dead zones spread throughout the world is the overabundance of nutrients.
These nutrients come from incomplete wastewater treatment and high technology agricultural practices. The hypoxic region cannot support marine life forms at all.
Many marine creatures vacate the area and those that cannot escape its clutches die of suffocation or lack of oxygen. The stresses and strains that impinge on the sea creatures are simply too much for them to take.
Via a reduction in the nutrient supply to the area, the marine life would definitely benefit from the state of affairs. Dead zones are a real danger to fisheries and marine life.
"Dead zones are a real threat to Gulf fisheries and the communities that rely on them," said Russell Callender, Ph.D., assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service.
"We'll continue to work with our partners to advance the science to reduce that threat. One way we're doing that is by using new tools and resources, like better predictive models, to provide better information to communities and businesses."
The NOAA assistant administrator spoke of how the agency and its sister concerns will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that this imminent threat to marine life is mitigated.
Novel tools-of-the-trade will also be employed to help the cause. They include computer simulations and models. The NOAA is looking very seriously into the matter. The hypoxia forecast does not look good and so steps will have to be taken to better the conditions in the future.
The weather conditions enter the mix as well. The models that have been generated by the computers are just the beginning. More has to be done such as the enactment of plans and a practical implementation of these plans. The dead zone stands to be altered by hurricanes or tropical cyclones.
The USGS is also in on the game. It is cooperating in the long term with the NOAA to mitigate the dead zone’s deleterious effects. The issue seems to be nutrient loading. To suck back all the man-made nutrients would be a blessing for the marine locality.
"By expanding the real-time nitrate monitoring network with partners throughout the basin, USGS is improving our understanding of where, when, and how much nitrate is pulsing out of small streams and large rivers and ultimately emptying to the Gulf of Mexico," said Sarah J. Ryker, Ph.D., acting deputy assistant secretary for water and science at the Department of the Interior.
"The forecast puts these data to additional use by showing how nutrient loading fuels the hypoxic zone size."
2016 Gulf dead zone confirmed size will be announced in early August.