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Life Arts    H3'ed 8/31/10

Despite "All Clear," Mississippi Sound Tests Positive for Oil

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Despite "All Clear," Mississippi Sound Tests Positive for Oil

by: Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t | Report



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Laboratory confirmed oil-soaked sorbent pad. (Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

The State of Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources (DMR) opened all of its territorial waters to fishing on August 6. This was done in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Food and Drug Administration, despite concerns from commercial fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida about the presence of oil and toxic dispersants from the BP oil disaster.

On August 19, Truthout accompanied two commercial fishermen from Mississippi on a trip into the Mississippi Sound in order to test for the presence of submerged oil.Laboratory test results from samples taken on that trip show extremely high concentrations of oil in the Mississippi Sound.

James "Catfish" Miller and Mark Stewart, both lifelong fishermen, have refused to trawl for shrimp because they believe the Mississippi Sound contains submerged oil.


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Miller and Mark Stewart attaching the sorbent pad to the weighted hook. (Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)


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(Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)


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(Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)


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(Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

On each of the eight tests Truthout witnessed, the white pads were brought up covered in a brown oily substance that the fishermen identified as a mix of BP's crude oil and toxic dispersants.

The first test conducted was approximately one-quarter mile out from the harbor, and the pad pulled up was stained brown.


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(Photo Erika Blumenfeld 2010)

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DAHR JAMAIL He is author of the book Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. Jamail's work has been featured on National Public Radio, the Guardian, The Nation, and The Progressive. He has received many (more...)
 
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