BP is an oiler spoiler

4 May

Today on Daily Planet I saw a familiar sight, the BIO (Bedford Institute of Oceanography) where I did some contract work last year. Construction is great but when you really want to be working in the conservation industry you feel like a schmuck nailing nails with leading edge ocean conservation work is going on around you. Because I was always interested in their work I was lucky enough to get a few tours of most of the facility but some things remained a mystery to me.

One thing I always wondered about was the large reservoir tanks outside the compound, and I didn’t figure out their purpose until today!  Fisheries and Oceans COOGER (Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research) Executive Director Ken Lee was featured on Daily Planet at the BIO using the tanks which turned out to be wave and current simulators. He was testing the effect of oil dispersants. The tanks test the effectiveness of breaking down an oil slick when churned around. Lee also placed small Cod fish in the tank to see not only the immediate effects from the dispersed oil, but to take blood and organ samples to try and determine if the fish would suffer long-term ailments, including reproductive disorders.

Most of the media coverage on the BP oil disaster is focusing primarily on the effects it will have on sea birds and shoreline fish, which are the ones most immediately threatened, and often killed by the pollutants. But it’s important to consider the unseen victims, microorganisms aren’t as compelling to show in the media.


One Response to “BP is an oiler spoiler”

  1. Ramona May 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Good job.You made me think of the less obvious ramifications of this disaster.

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