The Dead Zone In The Gulf Of Mexico

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Imagine, you're walking down the street, and you suddenly lose your breath, you find it impossible to breathe, now you're slowly suffocating and your oxygen has been completely depleted. If this were to happen it would be a terrible scenario and it's a reality for some fish and other marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. The area in the Gulf of Mexico that is noted for oxygen depletion is called the “dead zone”.
A dead zone, also known as a hypoxia zone, is an area with little to no dissolved oxygen in the water. It is believed that these areas are depleted of oxygen because of the pollution in the runoff delivered by the mighty Mississippi River. A fair amount of this pollution comes from fertilizer runoff from Midwestern farms that leach into
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The latest measurements reveal a growing dead zone that is bigger than average, covering 6,474 square miles. These measurements make it the second largest man-made dead zone in the world. In 2002 the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico was on record to cover over 8,000 square miles, while the smallest dead zone measured only 15 square miles back in 1988. To predict the next seasons coming dead zone Louisiana researchers look at the loads of Nitrogen coming into the gulf. Over the past five years the average size of the Gulf's dead zone has been about 5,000 square …show more content…
It causes habitat loss, displacement of fish and shrimp, and a decline in some species reproductive ability. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA the dead zone costs the United States seafood and tourism industry an estimated $82 million a year. This impact is devastating to the Gulf’s seafood industry which makes up more than 40% of the nation's seafood. Louisiana is second only to Alaska in gross seafood production. Dead zones cause this loss of revenue because fish and other commercial species normally move out to sea in order to avoid the dead zone. This forces the commercial fisherman to travel further from land and spend more time and money. This adds stress to an industry already plagued by hurricanes and still hurting from the latest oil spill. When dead zones grow, fishing, recreation, and tourism industries suffer. According to the NOAA the dead zone has a direct effect on commercial and recreational fishing.Commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico generated $860 million in 2015. The problem is bigger than just fertilizer, and the gulf’s dead zone is not any getting smaller. Jane Lubchenco, an administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that “regardless of the size of the dead zone, we should not lose sight of the ongoing need to reduce the flow of nutrients to the Mississippi River and in thus the

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