U.S. Gov’t Blames Fishermen, Not BP, for Gulf Sea Turtle Deaths

Yep, you read that right. Even though the Gulf of Mexico sea turtle death rate is six times higher than normal in the wake of the BP oil spill, the government is blaming shrimp fishermen. . . not BP. Never mind that these same shrimp fisherman couldn't even fish for many months out of the year--never mind that their boats were not even in the water. The government, in all its wisdom, apparently thinks the spike in sea turtle deaths can be blamed on the three percent of shrimp boats that are not equipped with turtle-excluding devices (TEDs).  Read the full story here. The government's own data shows a direct correlation in sea turtle deaths to the timing of the spill, and while a correlation is not the same thing as scientific proof, it does seem like a stretch to assume the spill is not at all relevant. No evidence suggests that shrimp fisherman have willfully stopped using TEDs, or that they've been slacking on compliance with the Endangered Species Act. No other external factors appear to have changed. So why then the sixfold increase in deaths if not because of the spill? We know the spill has not been cleaned up, despite contrary assurances. And we know the plumes currently lurking beneath the water are comprised mostly of toxic substances like benzene and toluene. It's unreasonable to think that just because we can't see the oil that its toxic effects don't exist and are not still being felt. Why is the government so ready to let BP off the hook for this disaster? And why is it so ready and willing to blame the victims of the disaster instead of the perpetrators? If you are as outraged by these questions and facts as I am, please join with me in the fight for clean, renewable energy. Follow me on Twitter and help raise awareness about the harms and injustices which occur every day as a direct result of our dependence on oil. Find out more about the legal thriller, Black Oil, Red Blood here. A portion of the proceeds benefits Gulf People Helping People. Read for fun and help out a good cause.

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