In the Gulf of Mexico, a zone called the “Dead-Zone” have been producing some weird fish. “Between 2006 and 2007, nearly a quarter of female Atlantic croaker fish caught in the northern Gulf’s dead zone had developed deformed, testes-like organs instead of ovaries.” This happens because of the waste runoff from the Mississippi River spark blooms of algae and these algaes deplete the ocean of its oxygen. They say it is unclear about how long the fish were living in low oxygen waters before the fish began developing the sexual defects. Their lab experiments also showed that ten weeks of exposure is all that’s needed.
Why do you think the low oxygen levels are effecting these fish?
Do you think they will adapt to these oxygen levels?