Published: April 23rd, 2012 at 9:33 pm ET
Crustacean biologist Darryl Felder, Department of Biology with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette: “My fear is that these prior incidents of lesions might be traceable to microbes, and my questions are, did we alter microbial populations in the vicinity of the well by introducing this massive amount of petroleum and in so doing cause microbes to attack things other than oil?” -April 19, 2012
Title: Gulf Oil Spill: BP Execs Escape Punishment as Fallout from Disaster Continues to Impact Sea Life
Source: Democracy Now
Date: Apr. 23, 2012
AMY GOODMAN: [...] The impact of the disaster continues to unfold for the area’s residents and wildlife. Scientists say shrimp, fish and crabs in the Gulf of Mexico have been deformed by chemicals released during the spill. One commercial fisherperson told Al Jazeera that half of shrimp caught during the last white shrimp season were eyeless.
SCOTT EUSTIS: We have some evidence of deformed shrimp, which is another developmental impact, so that shrimp’s grandmother was exposed to oil while the mother was developing, but it’s the grandchild of the shrimp that was exposed grows up with no eyes.
DAHR JAMAIL: We have recently come across very, very disturbing information from Gulf region scientists. You know, the first person I came across was Dr. Jim Cowan with Louisiana State University, and he’s been working on a project, getting his funding from the state of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. And he’s been, actually, for many decades, sampling red snapper, which is a very popular fish in the industry. And he’s been finding that before the BP disaster in April 2010, that of all the red snapper he was sampling, he was finding point-one-tenth [0.1] of 1 percent snapper coming up with lesions and other types of problems. Post-spill, that has gone to between 2 and 5 percent of all samples. That means an increase of between 2,000 and 5,000 percent, and in some areas as much as 20 percent [a 20,000% increase], he said, in other areas who have extreme impact, where the oil and dispersants came in nearby the shore, of as many as 50 percent [a 50,000% increase] of fish sampled. Very, very disturbing information there.
And then, another doctor that I spoke with, Dr. Darryl Felder with University of Louisiana-Lafayette, he also has before-and-after samples. He was working out around the Macondo wellhead area on the sea floor with a grant from the National Science Foundation, that they wanted him to investigate just overall drilling impact on species in the area. And so, he had deep sea crab, deep sea lobster, deep sea shrimp, from before the spill, and then many, many sampling trips after the spill. And what he found was obviously a very, very large increase of finding crab and lobster, etc., that had black gills, that had appendages falling off, again similar stains on their shells, and again similar to findings not too different from Dr. Jim Cowan’s, in that when the oil, that much unnatural oil introduced into the environment, coupled with the dispersants, that it’s causing these lesions that are burrowing into the carapace and the shells and eating into the wax of the shells, causing an increase in the microbes that do eat oil. Not only are they not eating just oil, but eating into the shells, and then parasites and diseases and other illnesses are being formed.
And then, lastly and I think most disturbingly, as you already touched upon, the eyeless shrimp. We’re seeing very, very large incidence of eyeless shrimp now popping up not just in Louisiana, but in Alabama and Mississippi, not just inshore, but further far ashore—offshore. And some of the shrimp that we’re seeing, they came from a shrimper in Louisiana that was caught—caught 400 pounds of white shrimp in one catch in last September, just off the outskirts of Barataria Bay. And that was—of the 400 pounds of shrimp, the shrimpers told us that all of them were eyeless. So, very, very disturbing findings. And unfortunately, we’re expecting more to continue.
[BP claims administrator Ken] Feinberg is on his way out, because so many people across the region are incensed at the way he’s handled most of the claims. [...]
I talked to Ryan Lambert, who heads one of the largest charter fishing businesses in the entire Southeast, and he said, “Hey, we’re going to court. They have destroyed my business. It’s not coming back. I haven’t seen one single speckled trout in three months. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that in my life. That’s 90 percent of the fish that we catch. So of course I’m going to go to court, because what they offered me, frankly, was insulting.”
Watch the report here
Support Democracy Now here
Published: April 23rd, 2012 at 9:33 pm ET