Blue crabs without claws. Shrimp, fish, and crabs without eyes. Fish with lesions. These are just some of the horrifying creatures fishermen and scientists have recently found in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yet, according to BP and Federal Agencies, this doesn’t necessarily have to do with the BP Oil Spill in spring 2010.
In the continental United States, more than 40 percent of seafood is caught in the Gulf, making the levels of mutations in the region’s sea life a major cause for concern. This, despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reassured the public just last year that Gulf-caught seafood was completely safe to consume. An Al Jazeera investigation into the matter, however, didn’t find the same results. In fact, reporter Dahr Jamall writes, “every scientist, fisherman, and seafood processor we spoke with about the seafood deformities” had never seen anything like this before.
It’s not just deformities that has researchers worried. It’s also the drastic decline in sea life populations, and that decline’s impact on the food chain.
So does this mean that humans should stop consuming seafood caught in the Gulf? Well, the answer remains unclear. Federal agencies and BP declined to comment for the story, and a Louisiana agency fully backed up the FDA’s previous claim that seafood is safe to eat. Yet, one fisherwoman told Al Jazeera that,
“We’re continuing to pull up oil in our nets… Think about losing everything that makes you happy, because that is exactly what happens when someone spills oil and sprays dispersants on it. People who live here know better than to swim in or eat what comes out of our waters.”
See video of the researchers on the next page.
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