1 month after the oil spill, California fishermen are unable to access nearly 12 miles of water.
Fishermen are still forbidden from fishing in the area four weeks after the Southern California oil spill, according to the Associated Press, as state environmental health specialists investigate the safety of fish in the polluted waters.
California has banned fishing in a 6- to 12-mile stretch of the Orange County coast where an underwater pipeline spilled at least 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean on October 2 off Huntington Beach.
Environmental health experts from the state are still doing tests to see if the fish and shellfish in the area are safe to eat. The duration of these trials is projected to be weeks or longer.
Fish in oil spills, according to Susan Klasing, chief of the fish, ecotoxicology, and water section of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, can absorb oil containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can cause cancer if consumed in certain concentrations.
The proprietor of West Caught Fish, Scott Breneman, said he still fishes beyond the forbidden region. He claims that he is still able to sell his tuna and black cod to restaurants, but that clients aren’t buying as much as they used to.
“People assume local seafood is tainted,” Breneman explained, “but we’re fishing 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the beach here, a long way away.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
While life along the shore is returning to normal, the bans have affected commercial fisherman and charter companies particularly hard. Some have filed lawsuits against pipeline owner Amplify Energy of Houston, claiming that the spill’s stigma will keep tourists away long after the filthy tar that washed up on the beaches has vanished.
Clients have canceled fishing trips, according to Eric Zelien, proprietor of EZ Sportfishing in Huntington Beach, despite the fact that there are plenty of sites where fishing is permitted. Instead of daily excursions, he now takes groups out once or twice a week.
“The majority of our out-of-town visitors have rescheduled their visits. “It’s like when COVID initially came out,” he remarked.
“Everyone thinks of Exxon Valdez when they hear oil spill,” Zelien added, referring to the tanker that ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989, spilling millions of gallons of oil. This is a condensed version of the information.