When lobsters try to get out of the water and onto the beach and octopuses try and scale fishing lines it does seem to suggest that their home – the sea – might be less than hospitalble. In fact it seems things have gone badly wrong with our oceans and climate change may have created some 400 ‘dead zones’ around the world where a lack of oxygen kills of almost all living things. Many of the dead zones are close to the shore where fertilisers and sewage create the problems, but a number of new off-shore dead zones are causing increasing concerns amongst US scientsts who are particulalrly concerned about a new dead zone off the coast of Oregon – with oxygen starved waters have wiped out life with underwater remote camera footage showing “piles of Dungeness crabs, dead tube worms, none could flee”. Whilst there have always been some dead zones of the west coast of continents where nutrient rish waters combine with sunlight to allow a bloom in microscopic animal life that strips away oxygen, the Oregon dead zone is well out to sea – and there are other dead zones accross the North Pacific – and the same is happening off Nambia and South Africa where ocean dwelling animas are trying to escpape the oxygen starved waters.
Research: Oregon State University