Huge Dead Fishing Zone In Bay Of Bengal

Huge Dead Fishing Zone In Bay Of Bengal.

Over-fishing is not uncommon, but without governmental supervision, together with ocean pollution, it will only be a matter of time before fish on the table may be a rarity. Recent research indicated that the Bay of Bengal hosts a ‘dead zone’ of around 60,000 square kilometers almost devoid of oxygen. The findings point to implications on global nitrogen balance.

Marine ‘dead zones’ contain no oxygen. Until now, there have been only three major identified dead zones – two in the eastern tropical Pacific (off Peru/Chile and Mexico) and one in the Arabian Sea. The newfound dead zone in Bengal Bay joins this list, according to a joint study by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India; University of Southern Denmark and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany.

“Oxygen depletion in the oceans occurs both due to natural causes and human activities,” Wajih Naqvi, former director of NIO, and a co-author of the study told Nature India. Lack of oxygen makes the ecosystem shift to anaerobic metabolism. This pushes microorganisms living within these oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) to get energy by degrading organic matter in a process that removes vast amounts of nitrogen — a key nutrient for life — from the oceans. This upsets the nitrogen balance of the planet.

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