NOAA chief says impact of Gulf oil spill on wildlife to linger for decades

A top government scientist says the impact of the Gulf oil spill on wildlife is likely to linger for decades.

Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, made the comment Wednesday even as the Obama administration was citing a federal report that only about a quarter of the spilled oil remains in the Gulf of Mexico.

She said that oil has already had an impact on wildlife — and will continue to do so for "years and possibly decades to come."

Lubchenco cited as an example bluefin tuna, which she said spawn this time of year. She said that eggs and larvae exposed to oil "probably would have died" or been significantly affected.