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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Laura Ingle

New York, NY

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Fishing For Oil

June 24, 2010 - 6:02 PM | by: Laura Ingle

Shrimp Boat Skimming for Oil

All along the Gulf shore in Louisiana, fisherman and shrimpers will tell you that switching over from catching fresh seafood to catching oil slicks and globs of goo has not been easy. Most boat owners around Grand Isle, Louisiana have signed up for the Vessels of Opportunity program – which was put in place by BP so that local boat operators can assist in transporting supplies, assisting wildlife rescue, and deploy containment and oil absorbent boom.

One of those boat owners is Terry Pozani Sr. who, on a normal day before the oil spill, would be fishing or shrimping from sun up to sun down. Now, he spends his day throwing out containment boom in the oil slicked waters that keeps him employed by BP for now…

Heading out to fish for oil

Pozani Sr. tells us that he is worried about his adult children who also have fishing and shrimping vessels. While he is soon retiring, his kids who have been working on their business may not have much business in the future. The combination of the federal fishing ban in place and the damage done to the sea life below the surface of the water is going to dramatically change their plans for the future and all that they have worked for. All they can do for now is continue to work for BP and collect a paycheck while their fishing business sits idle.

It continues to be a pretty overwhelming scene out there. Our Fox team in Grand Isle is headed out on a small boat this week to check out what the water looks like around Barataria Bay, which surrounds one of the state’s largest and most important estuaries. We found huge blobs of oil floating around, so thick that we could barely get it into an empty water bottles. It was like trying to stick cake fondant icing into a keyhole.

Oil from Barritaria Bay

While we were out in the bay, we noticed a lot of dolphins swimming and playing right where we skimmed this stuff off the surface. Our guide, who works at the Bridge Side Marina in town, told us that he has seen a dolphin struggling in the thick waters the day before he took us out for our ride. I called local wildlife officials who told me that they have helped rehab a few dolphins here and there, but didn’t have any reports of the one our local man told us about.

Down the road at the Gulfstream Marina, we met Fred Marshall who is the manager. Fred has been severely impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. “My life has completely changed direction from what I want to do, to where I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Fred said. “I find myself sitting on the dock crying sometimes.”

Photo Gallery
FNC Mike Sorrentino scooping oil into bottle
Image 1 of 5
  • FNC Mike Sorrentino scooping oil into bottle
  • Barge Barrier system being built in Barataria Bay
  • Barge Building in action
  • Trying to talk barge crew members into letting us on board