The broken well has been spewing oil 5,000 feet below the surface of the gulf waters for 86 days (which, incidentally, started out at 5,000 barrels per day and is now 60,000 barrels per day, and some are saying as much as 100,000 barrels per day). This is BIG folks! ... more than you can ever imagine!
I also think it is safe to say there will be an increase in inland seafood farming, like the shrimp farms in west Texas, as a result of this disaster.
In a disaster of this magnitude crude oil could hitch a ride with the gulf streams and make its way from the blown-out well, upward along the Eastern seaboard, all the way to the North Atlantic Ocean.
The BP disaster will have a lasting affect on much of the U.S. coastal offshore fishing industry and it could take a century or more to restore the coastlines to Pre-BP conditions.
Some people will turn to inland shrimp farming and other aquacultural operations. After all, if done right, fresh water shrimp farms can become a lucrative enterprise for anyone who is willing to put in some long hours and hard work during the growing seasons.
Shrimpers are already familiar with the food and if the right monetary incentives are forthcoming, I am sure more people would take an interest in aquaculture.
Out of despair others will quit and seek some other type of employment and abandon their crafts. That saddens me.
As with the larger shrimping vessels, aquacultural operations like shrimp farming would employ several people from the community and money would keep circulating around home. And, our government is suppose to be in favor of that idea and help out, too.
If there can be a minuscule silver lining around this cloud of disaster it would be the ability to save an industry from extinction while the coast line and marshes are healing from the onslaught of oil.
By using all the available resources to build industries which create jobs and revenue, we can at least put some people back to work while saving and replenishing the stock of some of our favorite seafoods.
Read the beginning sentence from the Texas Aquaculture Association Report ... by Granville Treece (Texas A&M University):
Seventeen shrimp producers in Texas on 1,906 acres produced 6,831,238 pounds of shrimp worth $13,662,476 in 2005.
Granted, I know this is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the damages which we are witnessing right now along our Southern U.S. Coastal Regions, but there is lots of room for growth. And, there's a possibility to further offset our dependence on gulf water foods.
Let's face it, if fish can retain traces of mercury and other heavy metals, which are not safe for human consumption, just imagine your seafood now with traces of petroleum by-products in their systems.
See now why fresh water farms look so appealing?
While the clean-up is taking place, (which could be a long time process), there is no time to waste with respect to alternative methods of producing seafoods. We must do this to help displace the loss of our natural gulf water seafoods.
If you know anyone who would like to raise awareness about inland aquaculture opportunities for the victims of the BP oil spill disaster ask them to contact their state representatives and express their sentiments.
You can do the same thing. It is only fair that the responsible parties to this disaster rescue the people from their impending hardship and restore the environment, as much as possible, to Pre-BP status.
People who act together can get things accomplished more quickly than acting alone.
Commentary ... J.R. Gaspard