Gulf Seafood: Mysterious Crab Deaths Trigger New Fears


Something is wrong with the crabs coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. Large numbers are dying off shortly after being caught, and the mysterious deaths illustrate just how little we actually know about the long-term impacts of the BP oil spill.

At issue with the crabs is that they are dying in just a few hours in holding tanks around docks or in tanks on their way to processors or retailers. That’s a big problem, say crabbers, because states like Maryland that import Gulf crabs don’t want the ones that are dying too quickly. Who can blame them? Meanwhile, charge-backs on crabs that arrive dead are rising.

The Houma Today newspaper quotes Wayde Bonvillain, a 56-year-old crab wholesaler: “They are dying after two hours in the outside waters like Whiskey Pass and Lake Barre.”

Even more concern is focused on whether the life cycle of Louisiana’s crabs was disrupted by the spill. Oil outside of areas that were boomed off kept female crabs from returning to the gentler inshore waters where they lay eggs. The effects, experts say, might not show up in a way that can be measured for two years or more.

So what’s happening is a mystery. And many in the “Mission Accomplished” crowd, including members of the media, will no doubt report that crabs have been repeatedly tested by “official” sources – but we all know that those tests really aren’t worth much, and that they don’t test for all the contaminants that might be present in the crabs. You can spin and limit tests any number of ways.

What you can’t spin are a bunch of crabs that are dying for unknown reasons.

Here’s a good report citing local Gulf crabbers:

© Smith Stag, LLC 2011 – All Rights Reserved


  • i am a whistle blower, i worked at a sour gas refinery that was polluting,with the help of the EPAand the FBI we shut down and dis-assemble that old refinery! i personally have seen spills in cape cod 1976,when i returned there for vacation and witnessed my favorite beach contaminated with an oil spill from buzzards bay. every thing was dead and stagnant, not pretty!! get use to it people it took decades to clean up, just like the exxon-valdez spill in alaska, where there are still oils in the gravels decades later!! this stuff just doesn’t disappear people regardless of what bp says: i know personally from my experiences.WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! BP ARE LIARS, ALONG WITH NOBAMA,things are not fine in the gulf and won’t be for decades!!!!!!!!! it sucks to be us!just people try to make a living and having to deal with crooked politics

  • we also need to be carefull on our consumption of seafoods coming from regions that are effected from our environmental pollution sites,remember the old saying believe nothing of what you are told and half of what you see!we are our own self discrimators of what we put in our mouths to eat,so be choosey on what you buy! don’t believe every thing your told! this world is full of liars,i believe nothing if it doesn’t seem right, it probably is’nt. have them prove what they are saying beyond a shadow of a doubt for it to be true!! if it seems to good to be true? it is. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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