BP Oil Spill and Sea Turtle’s Declining Population Link Revealed in Study

BP Oil Spill and Sea Turtle’s Declining Population Link Revealed in Study

A research revealing the link between the 2010 BP oil spill and the decline of the world's most endangered sea turtle was presented at the Second International Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Symposium.

The study researchers said that they have found oil in the shell of 29 sea turtles that returned to feed in the area where the spill took place in 2011 and 2012. In the study, it has been cleared that traces of oil were found in the carapace.

But it has also been mentioned that they could not say with 100% assurance that the oil was from the Deepwater-Horizon oil spill. Kimberly Reich, Sea Turtle Research Lab director at Texas A&M University in Galveston, affirmed that to find out whether or not the oil was from the BP spill, there was a need to test the turtle's blood immediately after their contact with the oil.

Reich affirmed that after every two years, turtles nest. The turtles that had come in contact with the oil had nested in 2011 and 2012 and had also, returned for nesting in 2013 and 2014. In the latter years, a decline has been noticed in nesting numbers.

As per BP spokesman Jason Ryan, there are many reasons that can affect sea turtle nesting, including natural changes, cold temperatures and accidental capture in fishing gear.

"Over the last two decades, there have been several significant drops in Kemp's ridley nesting in Texas, including in 2003, when a record year in 2002 was followed by a 50 percent decline the next year", said Ryan.

Ryan affirmed that they have supported efforts to boost the sea turtle population. The London-based oil giant has provided money so that researchers in Texas can find out and protect nests. In fact, till now BP and federal officials assess the impact of the oil spill on the turtles.