"Flooding Could Spur Largest Ever Dead Zone"

"HOUMA — The massive amount of nutrient-heavy river water pouring out of spillways and through the mouths of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers will likely trigger a record-setting Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of low-to-no oxygen water that forms annually off Louisiana’s coast.

A huge dead zone will be another setback for fishermen trawling the Gulf in hopes of making up for last year’s spring fishing season, which was shut down in much of the state by the BP oil spill, said Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium researcher Nancy Rabalais, Marine organisms, especially bottom-feeders like crabs and shrimp, must flee the oxygen starved waters or die, creating large areas of “dead” fishing that lend the annual phenomenon its name.

Dean Blanchard, owner of Dean Blanchard Seafood Co. on Grand Isle, said the dead zone can be a critical factor for shrimpers on Grand Isle, where the oxygen-depleted waters can sometimes brush up against the island community."

Nikki Buskey reports for the Thibodaux Daily Comet May 14, 2011.


"Largest-Ever Dead Zone 'a Disaster in the Making' for La. Fishermen" (Greenwire)

Source: Thibodaux Daily Comet, 05/27/2011