By Amanda Marie Perez 02-12-14
There’s no hope for marine life on the coast of Puerto Rico.
Scientists found high concentrations of pollutant material near the island’s bay. Located on the southern tip of the island, Puerto Rico’s bay is home to one of the most popular diving sites due to its rich and stunning marine life.
David Whitall, an National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration ecologist and the study’s main investigator, announced in a press conference that, “These concentrations of pollutants represent serious toxic threats to corals, fish and benthic fauna – bottom dwelling animal life and plants.”
Researchers found that Guanica Bay has extremely high levels of chlordane, polychlorinated biphenyls (a banned substance once used in part as coolant fluid for transformers) and metals such as chromium and nickel.
“The pollutants measured in the sediments of Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico … were among the highest concentrations of PCBs, chlordane, chromium and nickel detected since the NOAA began its nationwide contaminant monitoring program in 1986,” said the NOAA.
Scientists say these contaminants may cause a serious threat to further marine life around the bay. Islanders are also affected by the water pollution. Individuals who eat the fish caught around this area could be exposed to these contaminants as well.
It is still unknown what caused these toxins in the water. Marine biologists are investigating whether or not this deterioration of corals and marine life is due to pollution, or other causes.