Thanks (yet) again, BP

(My blog software wouldn’t accept my initial title — “Thanks again, BP” — because I’ve already used it! There are so many reasons to “thank” BP for last year’s massive oil volcano in the Gulf.)

More sad news from the Gulf of Mexico:

Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems….

If the illnesses are related to the oil spill, it could be a warning sign of worse things to come.

In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the herring fishery collapsed and has not recovered, according to an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee report. The herring showed similar signs of illness — including skin lesions — that are showing up in Gulf fish.

Worried that same scenario could play out along the Gulf Coast, Patterson is conducting research on the chronic effects of the BP oil spill on Gulf fish. And he sees troubling signs consistent with oil exposure: fish with lesions, external parasites, odd pigmentation patterns, and diseased livers and ovaries. These may be signs of compromised immune systems in fish that are expending their energy dealing with toxins, Patterson said.

I don’t eat shrimp because shrimp are bottom-dwellers and dragnet fishing destroys entire marine ecosystems, leaving nothing but a vast wasteland on the sea floor. But now I’m afraid to eat fish too, which makes me sad because (healthy) fish is a superfood. Even worse, if large fish have already been so visibly damaged by BP’s oil volcano, most other sea life (esp. eggs and young life) has been too, so the overall damage is probably far more grave.

Perhaps we in the U.S. should feel grateful corporate greed (and the politicians who chose not to regulate it) contaminated fish with oil. In Japan, corporate greed contaminated fish with radioactive iodine and cesium.

Posted by James on Thursday, May 12, 2011