Thousands of red snapper are being killed each year in the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. government is the responsible party, according to a report by Local 15/WPMI-TV in Mobile, Alabama. Undercover video shows oil rigs being blown up and thousands of red snapper and other marine life being killed as a result of a federal mandate that dictates old, abandoned oil and gas rigs in the gulf be removed. Here’s the exclusive report from Local 15:
Undercover video obtained by Local 15 shows a recent demolition and thousands of pounds of dead fish floating on the water. It was shown to marine scientist Dr. Bob Shipp.
“Good Lord,” Shipp told Local 15. “As a scientist, I think it’s abominable. …
“It’s a double whammy. Not only are we killing a lot of snapper, but we’re also destroying their habitat.”
When oil rigs are built, marine ecosystems become established under the surface around the base of the rig. They become artificial reefs, so demolishing them destroys fish and other marine life, as well as their habitat.
Critics are fuming because the government has been trying to protect red snapper by shortening the season and lowering the quotas, but then it kills the fish it’s trying to protect by blowing up oil rigs.
“They tell us not to fish [for red snapper], but they’re blowing them up,” charter boat captain Jason Domange told Local 15. “It’s a crying shame.”
A source told Local 15 that the video shows an estimated 10,000 pounds of fish, mostly red snapper, being killed in that one demolition. Local 15 reports that demolitions are frequent, sometimes three in a week.
Local 15 said efforts are being made on Capitol Hill to end these demolitions, and one can only hope it happens soon.
The shame is that these rigs can’t simply be cut off at the top and be made into artificial reefs. Perhaps one day that will happen.