Gulf oil spill could hurt aquatic species in Mexico, even though slick expected to stay away

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico is weighing legal action against BP PLC over the massive Gulf oil spill that threatens to harm turtles and other wildlife migrating between the waters of the U.S. and Mexico.

The black stain has not reached Mexico's coast and is not expected to do so, Environmental Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada said Tuesday.

But the agency is nonetheless closely monitoring the disaster's impact on various species in Mexico. Tiny Lora turtles, for example, which lay their eggs and nest on the Gulf coast beaches of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, spend part of their year off the coast of Louisiana, he said.

Quesada says BP must be held responsible, and his staff is researching international environmental law to see what actions it might take.

"It is important and necessary that such errors, omissions, accidents, do not go unpunished," he said. "The biodiversity that is affected is a biodiversity that is common to all beings on the planet."

Environmentalists say they have grave concerns that Mexico will suffer from the slick.

"Although the spill has not reached the Mexican coast, environment has no borders. Contamination of ecosystems such as wetlands, which provide environmental services for the entire population, affects us all," said Angelica Simon of Greenpeace Mexico.