Can dead zones occur in the ocean?
So-called dead zones are areas of large bodies of water—typically in the ocean but also occasionally in lakes and even rivers—that do not have enough oxygen to support marine life.
How are dead zones impacting the oceans?
Dead zones are the most severe result of eutrophication. This dramatic increase in previously limited nutrients causes massive algal blooms. These “red tides” or Harmful Algal Blooms can cause fish kills, human illness through shellfish poisoning, and death of marine mammals and shore birds.
What is the largest dead zone record?
The largest dead zone in the world lies in the Arabian Sea, covering almost the entire 63,700-square mile Gulf of Oman. The second largest sits in the Gulf of Mexico in the United States, averaging almost 6,000 square miles in size.
Are there dead zones in the Atlantic Ocean?
Naturally occurring low-oxygen zones are regular features in some parts of the ocean. These coastal upwelling areas, which include the Bay of Bengal and the Atlantic west of southern Africa, are not the same as dead zones because their bottom-dwelling marine life is adapted to the recurring low-oxygen conditions.
Why are there dead zones in the Pacific Northwest?
And the recent annual occurrence of dead zones in the nearshore points to dramatic changes in our ocean environment. Today we’re just 2 miles off the Oregon coast monitoring ocean conditions – It’s hard to imagine but this vast body of water under us may not have enough oxygen to support marine life.
Why are there dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico?
“Dead zone” is a more common term for hypoxia, which refers to a reduced level of oxygen in the water. Hypoxic zones are areas in the ocean of such low oxygen concentration that animal life suffocates and dies, and as a result are sometimes called “dead zones.”. One of the largest dead zones forms in the Gulf of Mexico every spring.
What happens to fish in the Dead Zone?
When the water reaches this hypoxic state, fish and shrimp leave the area and anything that can’t escape like crabs, worms, and clams die. So, the very fertilizers that are helping our crops are disrupting the food chain and devastating our food sources in the ocean when applied in excess.