A bad year for Atlantic bluefin tuna just got a whole lot worse.
Its numbers have declined precipitously for decades, and it was denied the protection of an international trade ban in March.
Now comes a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- just as bluefin tuna are arriving to spawn. And the spill is smack in the middle of the spawning grounds, according to Stanford University's Dr. Barbara Block, a preeminent tuna research scientist and a partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the Tuna Research and Conservation Center.
Block is blunt in her assessment, and it goes much beyond the fate of a single species.
"There is a much larger disaster unfolding here environmentally than people realize," she told AOL News. "There is a lot of focus on the Louisiana shoreline, but (the Gulf of Mexico) is America's greatest fisheries nursery, and we've got to pay attention to what's going on immediately."