I’ve been avoiding shrimp for close to two years because I expected this.
Do you remember how the EPA said it was safe for New Yorkers to return to the area around Ground Zero, despite the obvious hazard to respiration from asbestos dust? The government’s action around the BP oil geyser is equally negligent and harmful to humans. My friend Kyle noted recently that if radiation had caused these deformities, there’d be a lot more outrage. Given the media silence on radioactive seawater spreading out from Japan, I’m not so sure.
Here’s what I said in 2010:
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a joint release Sunday, “We will not rest until BP permanently seals the wellhead, the spill is cleaned up, and the communities and natural resources of the Gulf Coast are restored and made whole,” they said.
Good luck putting the genie back in the bottle. Making the communities and natural resources whole again could take a decade, or ten decades. It’s a little hard to go without rest that long.
Do you see Napolitano resting? I do. Are those deformed shrimp a sign of a restored Gulf Coast? How much compensation is BP paying this year to fishermen (at least fishermen if not more people from more impacted industries)? How much is going to the resort industries where if you swim on their beaches, you get skin problems from the Corexit and oil?
On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oilrig exploded, and began the release of at least 4.9 million barrels of oil. BP then used at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersants to sink the oil.
Keath Ladner, a third generation seafood processor in Hancock County, Mississippi, is also disturbed by what he is seeing.
“I’ve seen the brown shrimp catch drop by two-thirds, and so far the white shrimp have been wiped out,” Ladner told Al Jazeera. “The shrimp are immune compromised. We are finding shrimp with tumors on their heads, and are seeing this everyday.”
Made whole? More like made wholly into an ongoing catastrophe. And BP and deep water drilling keeps rolling on…
“I will not be alive to see the Gulf of Mexico recover,” said Cake, who is 72 years old. “Without funding and serious commitment, these things will not come back to pre-April 2010 levels for decades.”
Send some money to the region through Defend New Orleans if you like.