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Study is bad news for fish in spill

Gulf seafood is safe to eat and the water is clear after the BP oil spill, but a new biology study released Monday shows that effects of the oil on a small Louisiana marsh fish could be an early warning sign of trouble ahead for fish populations.

The study of the little killifish found biological changes that could indicate future problems with development and reproduction. Scientists detected the same cellular changes in herring and other animals after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and before populations crashed.

“The message that seafood is safe to eat doesn’t necessarily mean that the animals are out of the woods,” said Andrew Whitehead, an assistant professor of biology at Louisiana State University and a lead researcher in the study, which was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's editions of the Sun Herald.