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A shrimp boat captain in Louisiana hired by BP was blocked from rescuing juvenile Kemp's ridleys that were covered in oil in the Gulf waters. He was captured on video saying that the turtles are being collected in the clean-up efforts and burned up like so much ocean debris with other marine life gathering along tide lines where oil also congregates.
He witnessed BP workers burning turtles caught in the oil booms. Rescue efforts are being ended tomorrow.
STRP's Gulf Director Carole Allen responded to the news by saying "The burning of boom and oil when even one sea turtle was seen in the water is a despicable crime."
STRP's Chris Pincetich has been in communication with both the reporter who shot the interview and the Captain who witnessed the illegal killing of sea turtles, and is making arrangements to ensure that sea turtle rescue efforts are not stopped, and can be performed in areas with boomed oil.
A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP's controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts.
Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in a three-week effort to rescue as many sea turtles from unfolding disaster as possible, says BP effectively shut down the operation by preventing boats from coming out to rescue the turtles.
"They ran us out of there and then they shut us down, they would not let us get back in there," Ellis said in an interview with conservation biologist Catherine Craig.
Part of BP's efforts to contain the oil spill are controlled burns. Fire-resistant booms are used to corral an area of oil, then the area within the boom is lit on fire, burning off the oil and whatever marine life may have been inside.
"Once the turtles get in there they can't get out," Ellis said.
Mike Michael at Gather.com reports that Kemp's Ridleys are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Harming or killing one "carries stiff fines and civil penalties ($500-$25,000) assessed for each violation. Criminal penalties include possible prison time and fines from $25,000-$50,000."
Michael suggests that, given the size of the fines BP could face as a result of the turtle deaths, the company may be happy to let turtles burn, as it would make it impossible to calculate exactly how many turtles died. He notes that the bodies of dead animals are being kept as evidence to determine how much in fines BP will be liable for.
"Is BP destroying evidence to keep their liability down?" he asks. "Is anyone going to stop them?"
Originally posted by YJLTG
BP is Burning Sea Turtles Alive And Blocking Attempts To Save Them