The NOAA reopens 7,000 more square miles for fishing in the Gulf:
Expert trained sensory analysts for NOAA sampled 155 samples of finfish from the area, and the agency sent 156 fish samples done in 22 separate composite tests for analysis in NOAA’s labs. The smell testing indicated no oil or dispersant taint, and the chemical analysis found that no levels of hydrocarbons anywhere near the level of concern for humans.
Sounds pretty good…except:
Just three days after the U.S. Coast Guard admiral in charge of the BP oil spill cleanup declared little recoverable surface oil remained in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana fishers Friday found miles-long strings of weathered oil floating toward fragile marshes on the Mississippi River Delta. The discovery…gave ammunition to groups that have insisted the government has overstated clean-up progress, and could force reclosure of key fishing areas only recently reopened… Boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up…
And then one of the more disturbing lines of the article, something that has been echoed in the press for months:
The captains did not want to be named for fear of losing their clean-up jobs with BP.
I’m thinking that if my bosses came to me, and told me that all of my clients had to show marked improvement or I’d be fired, and if a quick survey of my community showed a complete absence of social work positions, and if I had no other way to earn a living, well…guess what? My clients might improve as quickly as the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Their mental health symptoms might possibly disappear as quickly as the oil.
In my not so scientific estimation, despite these reports being about two different, but adjacent fishing areas, if boat captains are afraid to tell the truth, if findings by independent scientists vary widely from the NOAA’s labs, how are we supposed to trust anybody? In the reopened areas, why are we supposed to assume we are getting the complete story, especially when nobody in the NOAA talks about long term exposure, ever?
And we are supposed to take it on faith why, because Jane says so? Because she has been so willing to release data and procedural information for analysis by others?
This rough climate of misinformation and agenda begs two pointed questions:
Is their any truth in the Gulf of Mexico or is their simply fear? And to Jane Lubchenco of the NOAA – if things are as safe in the Gulf as you claim, will you commit to feeding your family seafood from the Gulf of Mexico four times per week for the next year?
Check out the articles, both from the Times Picayune:
Massive stretches of weathered oil spotted in Gulf of Mexico
NOAA reopens 7,000 more square miles for fishing in the Gulf
Have a nice day.
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