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Deformed Crabs, Eyeless Shrimp in Gulf Three Years After BP Oil Spill

The Gulf on Day 30 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Gulf on Day 30 of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Green Fire Productions via Flickr Creative Commons

Shrimp with no eyes. Shrimp with bulbous tumors on their necks. Crabs with holes in their shells.

That's what fishermen around the Gulf of Mexico are still finding, three years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP, the oil company responsible for the spill, says it's all natural, according to a report by Al-Jazeera: "BP claims that fish lesions are naturally common, and that before the spill there was documented evidence of lesions in the Gulf of Mexico caused by parasites and other agents."

A Louisiana oysterman who is only operating two of the ten boats in his fleet told Al-Jazeera: "We're seeing crabs with holes in their shells, other seafood deformities. The state of Louisiana oyster season opened on October 15, and we can't find any production out there yet. There is no life out there."

A Hernando Beach seafood dealer said, "Our stone crab harvest has dropped off and not come back; the numbers are way lower. Typically you'll see some good crabbing somewhere along the west coast of Florida, but this last year we've had problems everywhere... We've seen fish with tar balls in their stomachs... I'm in west-central Florida, but fishermen all the way down to Key West are struggling to make it."

BP is still fighting a federal lawsuit about the spill and claims seafood is safe. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal pointed out, "Three and a half years later, BP is spending more money -- I want you to hear this -- they are spending more money on television commercials than they have on actually restoring the natural resources they impacted."

Yet the spill and dispersants that were sprayed to combat it have left toxic chemicals throughout the Gulf. Coral and microorganisms are devastated, and dolphin strandings may be related. Oil is still being found near Tampa and Sarasota.

Meanwhile, BP is whining about paying people negatively affected by the spill.


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