Scientists monitor sea life - - Jackson, MS

Scientists monitor sea life

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLBT) - Scientists at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs are tracking the health of sea life in advance of any oil that could reach the area.

A boat took a group of researchers out to the Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico Thursday.

Trawls were laid down and marine life was pulled up.  Water samples were taken, and oyster beds were studied.

Sharks were even caught, tagged and released.

The information collected will be used as a starting place for scientists.

"We know that from looking at how other spills have been managed and how the environmental analyses have taken place," said Lab Director Dr. Bill Hawkins.  "It's very critical to know what you have in order to tell what the impacts are."

The samples were taken back to the lab and are being studied.

Officials said several more excursions are planned.

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