The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

Gulf Shrimpers Report Oil In Reopened Fishing Areas Despite Fed!

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August, 16, 2010: Washington’s Blog Editors / Washington’s Blog – August 16, 2010

While the government says that the oil is gone, shrimpers say its still there.

The Press-Register reports: Opening state offshore waters to fishing and winding down the cleanup effort on the coast is premature, said Louie Miller, state director of the Mississippi Sierra Club.

“We’ve got shrimpers out there saying there is oil out there,” Miller said. “We had a meeting Wednesday night where we had over 150 shrimpers… who are saying there is oil out there and these underwater plumes are varying in size and shape. This stuff is obviously moving around out there.”

[William Walker, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources] “If you are not going to validate what you are saying through accepted scientific protocol and approaches, then quit talking about it without any evidence what you are saying is true,” Walker said. In other words, shut up.

Obviously, gulf shrimpers have a strong motivation to have everyone think that the shrimp is safe and the oil is all gone. They wouldn’t be speaking out unless the problem was fairly bad.

Indeed, the Sierra Club accuses the government of reopening oiled fishing grounds to limit BP’s liability: The existence of oil is irrefutable, Miller said. Oil has reappeared on beaches in Alabama, Petit Bois and Horn islands and continues to wash ashore in Louisiana, he said.

Miller said there also is evidence of submerged oil. “It is a weird thing. It is like strands, this black water, as they are calling it. It is like strands that are about three to four times the thickness of human hair. These things can be about foot-and-a-half, to five- to six-feet-long.”

Miller said the assumption is oil that has been dispersed. “To open up these waters, in my opinion, is nothing more than to limit the liability of BP to pay claims,” he said. “Because now they can deny any claims after the time at which these waters were opened back up,” Miller said.

PBS Newshour also covered the shrimpers’ distrust of the government’s claims that all is well: PBS: [Vice president of the Louisiana Shrimpers Association Acy] Cooper says despite government claims that most of the oil is gone, there’s plenty of it still on the bottom.

COOPER: I went out there and we made about four or five passes with the wheel, with the boat, stirred up the mud, and before you know it, oil was coming up. So these are the kind of areas that we need to distinguish where it’s at, and these are the new places we need to keep closed. We don’t need to open this. Keep them out of there.  (Video here). And see this.

Is the Sierra Club right? Are still-oiled fishing areas being reopened solely to limit BP’s liability? Or are fishing areas instead being reopened to try to save the Gulf fishing industry (even though local fishermen and shrimpers would rather have dangerous areas remain closed so that Gulf seafood’s reputation isn’t permanently destroyed)? Or is it just part of the same old attempt to cover up the severity of the crisis?

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: At this point, does anybody really need an answer to those questions?! – SJH

Link to original article below…

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