Blue crab larvae from Louisiana's coastal waters are turning up contaminated with oil. Blue crab larvae from Louisiana's coastal waters are turning up contaminated with oil. According to an AP story this morning, marine biologists have been collecting blue crab larvae during the duration of the oil spill, and are finding large amounts containing distinctive orange oil droplets.
While crabs are quite prolific and are not likely to be wiped out, even with a die-off of this year's larvae, scientists are concerned that the larvae will live long enough to be ingested by other marine life, and the oil and possible dispersants they contain will move up the food chain. That could effect the Gulf's aquatic population for years.
Loyola University biologist Bob Thomas told the AP, "Something likely will eat those oiled larvaeand then that animal will be eaten by something bigger and so on." Ultimately, the smaller creatures will be eaten by those at the top of the food chain, such as dolphins and tuna, which could get fatal "megadoses."
August is high crab season on my culinary calendar. Sigh. Back to the barbecue pit.