"Dauphin Island Fish Show Up With Lesions, BP Spill Link Questioned"

"DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama -- More than half the fish caught Monday by Press-Register reporters in the surf off Dauphin Island had bloody red lesions on their bodies.

Fishing along an uninhabited portion of the barrier island during a trip to survey beaches for tarballs, the newspaper caught 21 fish, 14 of them with lesions. Of those fish, eight had lesions a quarter of an inch across or smaller, while 6 had much larger blemishes.

Most of the fish were whiting, a small species common to the surf zone throughout the Gulf of Mexico. ...

Scientists contacted by the newspaper noted that whiting spend their lives close to shore in the area most affected by the Gulf oil spill. Buried mats of oil persist in the surf zone along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts and tarballs remain common on the beach. ...

But, the scientists cautioned, many factors could be to blame, and disease has always been a part of the Gulf ecosystem."

Ben Raines reports for the Mobile Press-Register January 11, 2012.


"Gulf Oil-Spill Responders Say They're Still Fighting for Payments" (McClatchy/Biloxi Sun Herald)

"Gulf Currents Aided Breakdown of Oil After BP spill, Study Says" (McClatchy-Tribune)

Source: Mobile Press-Register, 01/12/2012