Closer research reveals Canadian crude oil effects on native salmon

Researchers from the University of Guelph found that crude oil exposure is toxic to the hearts of fish, and could impair their migration habits.

Oil spills spell disaster for affected wildlife, leading to a number of detrimental outcomes, including suffocation, poisoning and longer-term problems related to exposure to crude oil and its components. New research out of the University of Guelph in Canada takes a closer look at the potential effects on regional salmon populations as Canada eyes expansion of its crude oil export capacity.

“Crude oils are a complex mixture of chemicals and represent a pervasive environmental stressor. Canada sits on the world’s third largest crude oil reserve, found as bitumen in the Athabasca oil sands. Ninety-eight percent of Canada’s oil comes from the oil sands, and 99 percent of our exports go to the US,” said study author Dr Sarah Alderman. “As plans to bolster the export capacity of this resource intensify, so too do concerns for the added risk of spills and environmental contamination.”

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