BP Tells Experienced Gulf Fishermen that They Don’t Know the Difference Between Oil and Seafloor Muck

The Pensacola News Journal notes:

Recreational fisherman Mark Fuqua, 47, of Pensacola, who has fished the waters from Destin to Pensacola most of his life, discovered just how big the mess is on the first day he struck out to drop a line in the water since the fishing ban was lifted two weeks ago.

After a day of fishing in several areas of the bay on Wednesday, his boat, anchor and cast net were covered in oil.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was fishing in front of Palafox Pier and pulled up my anchor, and it looked like it had black mud on it. I reached down to try to wipe it off and it was all greasy, like greasy sand.”

The anchor was dropped in 20 feet of water.

[Scott Piggott, who heads the Escambia and Santa Rosa cleanup operation for BP] said the reports from fishermen about finding oil often are not reliable.

“I’ve heard accounts of people who hold up their anchors that have this black stuff on it,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten reports from fishermen with sightings of sheen and oil. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these reports turn out to be organic material.”

Fuqua said Piggott’s statement “sounds typical.”

“BP is really counting on that out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing. It’s there and they know it,” he said. “They need to be exposed and made to do something about it.”

Sure, and the oil plumes and dispersant which experienced scientists think they are finding in the Gulf are really just kelp, and the dead animals which people see are really just sleeping, and the rashes and breathing problems coastal residents exposed to the dispersant are suffering are really just allergies.

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