Gulf oil spill effects may be seen in diseased fish


EAST ORLANDO – Some of the first potentially chronic effects from last year’s BP oil disaster — including diseased fish — may be starting to unfold as scientists review their first year of research.

Studies analyzing reef fish, such as snapper and grouper, off the Florida Panhandle indicate that some fish now have grayish-brown lesions, strange parasitic boils and fin rot. Some fish documented on reefs a year before the oil disaster have disappeared.

It is too early to say that oil is the cause or that the number of diseased fish in the northern Gulf of Mexico is higher this year compared with the past. But the problems, noticed months ago by fishermen, prompted state scientists to investigate.

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