New Orleans, LA – The Gulf of Mexico is filled with mutated wildlife. Clawless crabs, eyeless shrimp and scarred fish are popping up everywhere leaving scientists to question just how much damage was done by the BP Oil Spill.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion aboard the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and spewed an estimated 4.9 million barrels into the Gulf, in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
According to an extensive report by Al Jazeera English, scientists and environmentalists are claiming that the deformed sea life is probably the result of the oil released into the Gulf and the chemicals they used to try to clean it up.
Tracy Kuhns, a commercial fisher from Barataria, La., told Al Jazeera, showing a sample of the eyeless shrimp, said,
“At the height of the last white shrimp season, in September, one of our friends caught 400 pounds of these,”
Darla Rooks, another fisherman from the Gulf told Al-Jazeera,
“eyeless fish, and fish lacking even eye sockets, and fish with lesions, fish without covers over their gills and others with large pink masses hanging off their eyes and gills.”
Rooks also said that her yield was about 10% of what it normally is and that she had never seen such deformities before.
Scientists are blaming the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in the oil that is was released fro the well. There was also the two million gallons of the dispersant Corexit that BP used in an attempt to clean up the spill.
Riki Ott, a toxicologist and marine biologist explained to Al Jazeera,
“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber. It should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known.”
BP has maintained all along that seafood from the Gulf is as safe as it ever was saying in a statement,
“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.”
The Gulf Seafood industry is too receive more than $2 billion dollars from a $7.8 billion dollar settlement reached with BP over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.