Text and photos by Carl Safina
During the second week of June, I got a boat to take me out Alabama’s Perdido Pass and into the open Gulf. We were interested in rumors of dead fish floating 15 miles from shore.
We saw some very light slicks close to shore. Schools of False Albacore (Little Tunny) chased prey through light oil. We saw many such schools over quite a few miles. We never saw dead fish. I did see many tiny fish swimming beneath the oil, and a few flyingfish that sailed in and out of the surface slick.
A few miles out, we started seeing slicks and little blobs of oil seemingly dissolving into the warm surface waters like brown pats of butter.
And soon, many more.
How to solve this? Hire some sport fishing boats that can’t fish because fishing is closed, and have them tow a boom between them. Yeah, that’ll do it.
And along shore, despite the boom-boom-booms, the oil gets in.