Posts Tagged ‘crab larvae’
From the St. Petersburg Times, via Mother Jones:
A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf. The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:
“I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil,” USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF’s public announcement, he said, comparing it to being “beat up” by federal officials.
And…though blogs and independent sources of news have been reporting on this for a number of days, it finally makes it to AP…congratulations, boys!
There’s another extremely important piece out today, wherein the Associated Press documents how oil is already finding its way into the food web. Scientists are finding traces of oil in crab larvae: The government said last week that three-quarters of the spilled oil has been removed or naturally dissipated from the water. But the crab larvae discovery was an ominous sign that crude had already infiltrated the Gulf’s vast food web — and could affect it for years to come.
“It would suggest the oil has reached a position where it can start moving up the food chain instead of just hanging in the water,” said Bob Thomas, a biologist at Loyola University in New Orleans. “Something likely will eat those oiled larvae … and then that animal will be eaten by something bigger and so on.” This, of course, does not help efforts to convince the public that seafood from the region is safe. Not does it help in promoting the idea that the oil is less of a threat because we can’t see it, as the government and BP have been busy doing for the past week.
I feel warm inside knowing everybody is playing it straight in the Gulf of Mexico. The FDA, the EPA, the NOAA…all best of friends and working hand-in-hand with British Petroleum to make sure everything is handled – correctly, safely and with no misinformation, for the good of the Gulf and the people who live there.
Have a nice day.
BP and the Coast Guard used Corexit in unprecedented numbers in the Gulf of Mexico. The dispersant is designed to bond with the oil and sink the mix of chemical and crude deep, far away from shore and while this is indeed happening, depleting the oxygen and poisoning the lowest rung of the food chain on the sea floor, unfortunately it is also beginning to now wash up on the beaches of Alabama, its presence indicated in recent water samples collected by the Press-Register and analyzed by Ed Overton, an LSU chemist.
“We didn’t see oil in the analysis we do, but I passed some of these water samples to a colleague who does fluorescence analysis,” Overton said. “We saw some preliminary indications that there was a dispersant signal in the sample.” Fluorescence analysis provides ultra-fine detail and can measure chemicals to the parts per billion level or better. Overton said it was too soon to say definitively that the material in the samples was the Corexit dispersant, but the signal was similar to a Corexit sample. “I’m very interested in it. We need to find out what it is,” Overton said. “If dispersants are getting onshore, that’s news. We need to know that.” Harriet Perry, a scientist at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs stated, “They looked specifically for the Corexit. It looks like they found it,” Perry said of work by research colleagues at Tulane University, “These (oil) droplets in the crabs, they are pinhead-sized. For a droplet to be that small, it has to be dispersed oil,” Perry said. “It’s supposed to biodegrade rapidly. It’s supposed to disappear in days, not weeks, but that may not be happening.”
Last month, Dr. Susan Shaw, a marine toxicologist described symptoms of shrimpers who had been exposed to the combination of oil and Corexit, which included muscle spasms, heart palpitations, long-lasting headaches and bleeding from the rectum. Of primary concern is those symptoms were only as a result of short term exposure. Unknown are the effects over the long-term, and if Corexit is being found in crab larvae this means it could be making its way inside the food supply. Add this to its washing up on the beaches and the Gulf Coast could be dealing with this chemical for a long time to come.
British Petroleum spokesman, Steve Brocknick, when asked about the findings by these two scientists went on record stating, “Ed Overton? Harriet Perry? Who the hell had those two on their lists?…heads will roll!”
Read the article:
Have a nice day
Now that the oil well has been capped in the Gulf, some waters have been reopened for fishing. Inspectors throughout the Gulf Coast are conducting smell tests to determine if the seafood is safe for human consumption. It might seem silly, especially in this day and age there are no better ways to test for chemicals, but the practice is actually quite common.
Course, not everyone is buying it:
“If I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that, and mixed it up, would you eat that fish?” asked Rusty Graybill, an oysterman and shrimp and crab fisherman from Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish. “I wouldn’t feed it to you or my family. I’m afraid someone’s going to get sick.”
The FDA and Doug “I’d feed it to my family” Suttles however, disagree.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the government is “confident all appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that seafood harvested from the waters being opened today is safe and that Gulf seafood lovers everywhere can be confident eating and enjoying the fish and shrimp that will be coming out of this area.”
In contrast to FDA opinion, Tulane researchers have indicated Corexit and crude are being found in crab larvae from Texas to Florida, so worries grow that the chemicals and crude may bio-accumulate. University of New Orleans Martin O’Connell, Phd explained bio-accumulation this way, “If you’re a small fish and you eat 1,000 of these small crab larvae and all of them have oil or Corexit droplets in them they could get into the fish — that little fish could be eaten and so on and so on.”
A tissue test is being developed by the FDA to more thoroughly check for chemicals in the seafood, yet there is no word on when the test might be ready…of course…between not having a tissue test and not doing more testing on dispersants, both slated to be done since the Exxon Valdez disaster twenty years ago, one might be inclined to think that the FDA and the EPA aren’t overly concerned with the safety of the food supply.
Okay, maybe that’s too harsh…
But then what tests might the FDA be doing, what might they be looking for? What indication can they give us, the public to help us feel better about their determinations… Well, taking a page from BP, the Coast Guard, the NOAA, the EPA…the FDA has declined requests to provide any such information.
What are they testing for? None of your business. What have they found? None of your business. You…yes you, are on a need to know and in the Gulf Coast these days, you don’t need to know nothing…but if it doesn’t smell like chemicals… you’re all good.
Come on FDA…really, let’s re-open the waters safely with full disclosure of all pertinent information…we’re not children, you’d be surprised what we can take.
Read the article…
Have a nice day.