BP Oil Spill 2010 Update: Fishing Ban, Dead Sea Turtles May 18
The Federal Government Has Closed Off More Areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Banned Fishing Due to the Oil Spill
In what is another economic blow to the fishing industry in the United States, the Federal Government has been forced to close off more areas to fishing due to the oil spill of the coast that continues to hit the shoreline and affect the wildlife and residents.
Now a total of 19 percent of the Gulf of Mexico has been shut down, which is up nine percent from Monday. 19 percent is about 45,728 square miles according to CNN. In a move to try and regulate the fish and seafood coming out of these waters, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have begun a 'broad-scale seafood sampling plan', which means all seafood from inside and outside these areas must be tested for safety.
Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Governor told reporters on Tuesday May 18 that he has seen the oil coming ashore.
"We saw some heavy oil come into the wetlands, come into the marshlands," he said, showing aerial photographs of the area. "You can see this is heavier oil, this is not just sheen."
Dead Sea Turtles Wash Up on Beaches in Record Numbers
Just one of the tragedies of this oil spill is the fact that sea turtles have been washing up on beaches in amounts three times than what wildlife officials normally see, although as Steve Murawski, the NOAA Fisheries Director of Science Programs says, it could be because more people are looking out for sea turtles at this time. According to NOLA.com, the 162 sea turtle strandings along the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010 is three times the number of the past five years.
It is thought that their deaths are linked to the oil spill, but autopsies have to be carried out to determine exactly what the cause of death was.
"The stranding rate is significantly higher than background levels," Murawski said. "I have to caution that a little bit, though, because of the increased effort of looking for turtles now, compared to before the spill."
In addition, about 23 dead oiled birds have been found, and a dozen live oiled birds, along with about a dozen Bottlenosed dolphins that have washed up dead on the shore.
"The impacts are difficult to detect offshore because the area is difficult to observe," Murawski said. "But the long-term impacts of this event are likely to express themselves for years to come."