Studies at the Saba Reef, one of the richest fish assemblages in the Caribbean Basin, have indicated the chief threats to B. rufus and other reef fishes are overfishing and the residual impacts of the particular chemical dispersant used by the USA in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; this chemical, Corexit 9500, has high persistence and toxicity to a gamut of marine fauna. Studies by Burke et al. suggest that concentrations of dispersant and other water pollutants are of particular concern in critical lagoon nurseries; these studies suggest that the toxicity of residual dispersant may be much more significant to reef fishes than the actual petroleum release of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill itself. Corexit 9500, is known to be much more toxic than the petroleum chemicals it is meant to disperse; moreover, the combined toxicity of Corexit 9500 and petroleum is more toxic to juvenile fish than either petroleum or Corexit alone.
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