Monday, September 20, 2010

3rd Fishkill in Plaquemines

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is demanding federal involvement when it comes to testing the waters in the parish hit by heavy oil. … “We’ve never seen so many species floating in so many different areas. I’m begging the E.P.A., or somebody… I’m begging them to do their job, get out there and lets test, and see what the hell is going on in the water“…

P.J. Hahn, the Director the Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Management Department says fish kills are normal during this time of the year. What’s not normal is how frequent swaths of dead fish are turning up, in areas once heavily oiled.

“Now millions of dead fish that have turned up in the area, and a variety: catfish, redfish, speckled trout we saw, it’s just a number of varieties of fish,” said Hahn… the parish still questions whether they could be related to the oil spill.

The previous fish kills were reported in Bay Chaland and Bay Joe Wise and were predominantly menhaden, also called pogie.

The Bay Chaland fish kill was discovered on September and the Bay Joe Wise fish kill was discovered by officials Thursday, September 16.

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Hahn said Thursday that the fish (in Bay Joe Wise) covered at least one-fourth of a square mile, with oil visible among them. He said he wanted the area tested because it was affected by oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill, said a report from the Associated Press.

In addition to hundreds of thousands of dead fish floating west of the Mississippi River in Bayou Chaland, several days before, a large starfish kill was found in nearby Barataria Bay, and a dead baby whale was discovered near Venice a few days later.

On September 14th thousands of fish and a dead whale were found dead at the mouth of a shipping channel in Venice. Species include crabs, sting rays, eels, drum, speckled trout and red fish.

Billy Nungesser said there is no testing going on to determine if it’s from the oil spill, although the northern Gulf of Mexico has suffered from a persistent dead zone of low oxygen, blamed on nutrient rich runoff from the Mississippi River.

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