Friday, July 2, 2010
The question now is how many of the creatures are dying in the oil, said Eric Hoffmayer of the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab, who has studied whale sharks in the northern Gulf since 2002.
"Taking mouthfuls of thick oil is not conducive to them surviving," he said.
Hoffmayer has found that many of the northern Gulf's whale sharks feed off the mouth of the Mississippi River; the Deepwater Horizon site is about 40 miles southeast of the river.
"That basically confirms our worst fear: These animals do not know to stay away from the oil," Hoffmayer said.