Photo: Al Jazeera
"We're continuing to pull up oil in our nets. People who live here know better than to swim in or eat what comes out of our waters."
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources acted this week to close waters along the Gulf Coast to shrimping due to [EDIT: amidst] widespread reports from scientists and fishermen of deformed seafood and drastic fall-offs in populations two years after the BP oil spill. ['Official' reason is now reported to be smaller than average shrimp.]
All waters in the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay, and some areas of Bon Secour, Wolf Bay and Little Lagoon were closed to shrimpers. Reports of grossly deformed seafood all along the Gulf from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle have been logged with increasing urgency, but Alabama is the first state to actually close waters to the seafood industry.
And it's not just the shrimp. Commercial fishermen are reporting red snapper and grouper riddled with deep lesions and covered with strange black streaks. Highly underdeveloped blue crabs are being pulled up in traps without eyes and claws…
Commercial fishers Tracy Kuhns and Mike Roberts from Barataria, LA reported to Al Jazeera
when showing samples of eyeless shrimp…
"At the height of the last white shrimp season, in September, one of our friends caught 400 pounds of these. Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets."
And there's no question that the leftover mess from BP's disaster can affect human health. The dispersants BP used to 'hide' the extent of their blow-out contain solvents that are notoriously toxic to people and include known mutagens. Pathways of human exposure include inhalation, skin and eye contact as well as ingestion, and exposure causes headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chest pain, respiratory system damage, skin sensitization, hypertension, CNS depression, neurotoxic effects, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiovascular damage. They also cause fetal deformities and cancer.
The FDA and EPA refused public comment, sending Al Jazeera to NOAA for comment. Which NOAA refused to do because its investigation for a lawsuit against BP concerning the spill is ongoing. BP, however, wasn't so shy as not to deliver a statement on the presence of deformed and polluted seafood…
"Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is among the most tested in the world, and, according to the FDA and NOAA, it is as safe now as it was before the accident."
So there you have it. State officials in Alabama have taken action, and other states need to take action to keep dangerous seafood from the Gulf off the dinner tables of Americans. While the feds are busy helping British Petroleum cover up the damage they've done, even if it means poisoning innocent American citizens, deforming babies, causing cancers, etc.
Once again our government chooses to lie and do great harm to American citizens in order to protect a foreign gigacorp from the consequences of their criminal business practices. Who is surprised?