New report says shrimp in the Gulf are alright and growing?

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster, photo by Keith Ladner

A new scientific report published Wednesday  that looked at the abundance and size of Louisiana white and brown shrimp before and after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, says that the amount of size of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico and its local estuaries were unaffected. It’s authors noted that “shrimp populations have been predicted not to suffer dramatic effects as result of the spill.”


As early as late 2010  Dr Jim Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen. In an Al Jazeera article, Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors reported they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster. Signs of aberrations included horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp.

On April 20, 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oilrig exploded, releasing at least 4.9 million barrels of oil. BP then used at least 1.9 million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersants to sink the oil.

To only look at the amount of shrimp and their size is giving an extremely false picture of the health of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 disaster. Other notable reports since 2010 have all noted the severe physiological changes in marine life in and around the Gulf and attribute them to the toxic chemicals used by BP to try to contain the huge environmental disaster.

Since the oil spill, scientists and fishermen have seen a drop in biodiversity in fisheries in certain areas as well.

The scientists who drew those conclusions chose to only see part of the puzzle. By ignoring the larger picture, it makes you wonder if they were in some way working with Louisiana’s Tourism Board or other agency involved in painting a positive picture of the Gulf fishing industry.

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