Washington Post Reports Oil Spill Not the Culprit in Turtle Deaths

kempsThose disturbing pictures we’ve all seen of dead turtles washed up on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico? And the accompanying stories about the hundreds of sea turtles killed from the oil spill?

Well, Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post reports that it isn’t the oil that has killed the turtles but shrimp nets from shrimpers who are breaking regulations that were supposed to be protecting the endangered sea turtle:

The numbers are startling: Hundreds of sea turtles have begun washing up into bays and onto beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Six hundred of the mottled, soup-plate-shaped reptiles came ashore in just four states in 2010, six times the annual average. This year, 563 have been stranded…Blame the oil that fouled those waters after the BP spill? No, government scientists say, there is a more mundane local culprit: shrimpers who are ignoring regulations to prevent endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from becoming ensnared in their nets.

Except that, wait a minute, so called experts did attribute the oil spill to the killings:

“I discount [the shrimpers] heavily,” said Louie Miller of the Sierra Club last May when scientists first started to consider that shrimpers, not oil from the BP oil spill, were the culprit. “I think shrimpers are in enough trouble as it is. I point the finger at BP at this point until they are proven innocent.

And this from the National Wildlife Federation:

While the actual cause of death has yet to be determined for most of the animals, it is clear that a large proportion of the deaths and injuries were related to the oil spill, as the number of animals collected—especially the birds and sea turtles—was far beyond what is usually found in that area.

Makes one wonder how many more unsubstantiated—and harmful—claims these interest groups make on important environmental issues before considering the evidence…

You can read the rest of the Washington Post article here.

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