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Gulf of Oman's 'Dead Zone' is expanding and is devoid of oxygen, says researchers

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 2 May 2018, 19:20 IST

With the growing global warming and increasing pollution in the ocean, the scientist has warned about the fast-growing "dead zone" devoid of oxygen in the Gulf of Oman. The 'dead zone' could be a disaster for fish and marine plants in the area, as well as for people reliant on the ocean for food and employment.

University of East Anglia (UEA) researchers have confirmed that there will a sharp decrease in the oxygen in the Gulf of Oman, the area is larger than Scotland. The scientists could find this because of underwater robots called Seagliders that can reach depths of 1,000 metres, a release from the university said on Friday.

"The Arabian Sea is the largest and thickest dead zone in the world. But until now, no-one really knew how bad the situation was because piracy and conflicts in the area have made it too dangerous to collect data,” Dr Bastien Queste from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences said.

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According to Dr Bastien, the reason behind the worst condition is "as warmer waters hold less oxygen, and by fertiliser and sewage running off the land into the seas."

"Dead zones are areas devoid of oxygen. In the ocean, these are also known as 'oxygen minimum zones' and they are naturally occurring between 200 and 800 meters deep in some parts of the world," Queste said in a statement.

"Our research shows that the situation is actually worse than feared, and that the area of dead zone is vast and growing. The ocean is suffocating.”

"Of course all fish, marine plants and other animals need oxygen, so they can't survive there. It's a real environmental problem, with dire consequences for humans too who rely on the oceans for food and employment," he said.

"They found that the deadzone moves up and down between seasons, causing fish to be squeezed in a thin layer near the surface," it said.

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First published: 2 May 2018, 19:20 IST