Undercover video surfaced late last week of a demolition of a Gulf oil rig (video below). Shortly after the demolition, video captured thousands of dead fish floating on the surface of the ocean and most of them were red snapper. Ironically, this year the government decreased the fishing season for red snapper (a highly prized food and sport fish) from 40 days (2012) to 27 days (2013).
This mandate went on the books in the 1970’s as a way to ensure oil companies deal with their aging oil rigs. However, when this mandate was enacted, government agencies did not know what a diverse environment an oil rig structure could create underwater. These structures are home to numerous fish species and other marine life such as corals and sponges and are technically protected under the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000. They are also home to tens of thousands of Red Snapper fish, which are a prized food and sport fish in the Gulf. Some of these structures are 30 to 40 years old and have a quite diverse animal population.
Marine scientist Dr. Bob Shipp was interviewed by Channel 15 news for their breaking story about the oil rig demolition:
“We’re talking about the most valuable fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, the one on which so much tourism, industry and restaurants depend,” Shipp said, “Then we see something like this, which is just a blatant waste of a very precious resource.”
Channel 15 of Mobile, Alabama covered the breaking story last week:
Since the story aired, Channel 15 has learned that Alabama Congressman Jo Bonner (R) is calling for immediate action in Washington on this matter: