No doubt Bush will immediately dispatch someone to find out if these dead zones have any oil. If so, we'll be right on it. The Independent reports: It is as sinister a development as any in the list of things going wrong with the planet. Marine "dead zones" - oxygen-starved areas of the oceans that are devoid of fish - are one of the greatest environmental problems facing the world, UN scientists warned yesterday. There are nearly 150 dead zones across the globe, they are increasing, and they pose as big a threat to fish stocks as over-fishing, the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) said in its Global Environment Outlook Year Book 2003, released at a meeting of environment ministers in Korea. These lifeless areas of the sea are caused by an excess of nutrients, mainly nitrogen, that originate from heavy use of agricultural fertilizers, from vehicle and factory emissions and from human wastes. They have doubled in number over the last decade, with some extending over 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles), about the size of Ireland, Unep said.