Study Reveals BP Oil Spill's Effect on Killifish

The BP oil spill has had a lasting effect on killifish and other species.
Photo courtesy of BP p.i.c

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences documents the effect of BP oil on Gulf killifish. This minnow-like wetlands fish, also known as bull minnow or cacahoe, is a critical part of the Gulf's food chain and are a commonly used baitfish.

The study finds that oil exposure has altered the killifish's cellular function in ways that are known to be predictive of developmental abnormalities, decreased hatching success, and decreased embryo and larval survival.

Land Tawney, senior manager for sportsmen leadership with the National Wildlife Federation, said:

"This study reminds us that the even small amounts of oil can have a lasting impact on fish, wildlife and habitats. These bull minnows are an important food source, a staple, for sportfish like redfish and speckled trout, which are key species for the Mississippi River Delta's recreational fishing.

"The study also reminds us that Congress has yet to act to protect the Gulf's ecosystem by passing comprehensive response legislation to restore this national treasure teeming with fish and wildlife. We urgently need action now-and sportsmen and women across the country are calling for Congress to dedicate fines and penalties from the oil spill to restoring the Mississippi River Delta and the Gulf Coast."

Learn more about Vanishing Paradise's efforts to unite hunters and anglers on the important issue of Mississippi River Delta restoration at

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