Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Shrimper's Dozen

Oil, Methane, Corexit Combined to Kill Shrimp Population

Just after leaving the boat launch, we pass a shrimper coming back in.

"How did you do out there?" Craig asks him. "Nothing. Nothing at all," the despondent fisherman replies. "How much do you usually catch?" Craig asks. "Hundreds of pounds, sometimes a thousand pounds," comes the reply.

Craig looks at me and says, "That’s not good."

Minutes later another shrimper passes us, returning to port. "How’d you do?" Craig asks. "We caught 12 shrimp," he replies, "That’s one-two shrimp."

A brief reminder of the toxicity of the dispersants BP is using in the Gulf: "According to the EPA’s latest analysis of dispersant toxicity released in the document Comparative Toxicity of Eight Oil Dispersant Products on Two Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Test Species, Corexit 9500, at a concentration of 42 parts per million, killed 50% of mysid shrimp tested." Most of the remaining shrimp died shortly thereafter.

Photos by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

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