We’re not the only ones impacted by the hazards of powerful hurricanes; so too are the vast hierarchies of marine wildlife that reside in the ocean. That said, how do dangerous storms impact marine wildlife?
Hurricanes are powerful storms that can stretch hundreds of miles over an ocean’s surface, and this gives them tons of leverage over the water they hover above. Hurricanes can influence ocean currents that impact wildlife tens of meters below the surface. In some cases, these animals are pushed from the ocean into freshwater channels near coastal regions.
Hurricanes also cause disarray with the natural salinity of the ocean in affected areas. They dump tons of fresh water atop the briny sea, preventing oxygen from reaching the salt water, and this causes health problems for large marine animals like whales and dolphins, to name a few.
Dirt and sediment from the bottom of shallower regions also gets kicked up during a hurricane. The particulates easily clog fish gills, making it harder for the animals to obtain oxygen; this is why we often observe heaps of deceased fish after hurricanes.
As it would seem, hurricanes have a much more significant impact on the subsurface environment than many realize at first glance, and that’s why it’s so important to spread the word.