BP Burns Endangered Sea Turtles Alive, ALDF Files Suit

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on June 30, 2010

Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with several other groups, filed suit in federal court against BP for burning critically endangered sea turtles in
the Gulf of Mexico, in violation of the Endangered Species Act and other
federal laws.

As part of BP’s efforts to contain the massive oil spill that continues
to devastate the Gulf of Mexico, BP is using “controlled burns” whereby
oil is corralled by fire resistant booms dragged through the water by
shrimp boats and then lit on fire. Endangered sea turtles, including the
Kemp’s ridley, one of the rarest sea turtles on Earth, are caught in
the gathered oil and unable to escape when the oil is set ablaze.

Read more about the lawsuit.


One thought on “BP Burns Endangered Sea Turtles Alive, ALDF Files Suit

  1. Marlitta H. Perkins says:

    I’ve contacted the Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill yesterday after reading the above post and received an answer this morning. According to them, they are the ones managing the burn operations undertaken as part of the spill response. What can be done to stop this burning of turtles immediately?
    Here is the e-mail in full:
    The following inquiry was submitted to Unified Command for the BP OilSpill | Deepwater Horizon Response on 06/30/10 16:42 (462055):
    From : Joint Information Center
    Date : 07/01/10 04:40
    Dear Ms. Perkins,
    The Unified Command, not BP, is managing the burn operations undertakenas part of the spill response. Protocols include looking for wildlifeprior to ignition of oil, however it is possible that turtles and otherwildlife have been harmed by burn operations. The Unified Command is working to make sure the harmful effects of these operations onwildlife are minimal. Of the threats posed by this spill, the oil is the greatest with thepotential to foul the animals, their nests, food, habitat, and theirlong term health. Burning is a very efficient way to remove oil thatwould otherwise spread and persist, removing up to 90% of the oil atmaximum efficiency. Protocols for burn operations include looking for turtles in the area prior to ignition and not conducting operations if they are spotted. The Unified Command marine mammal/sea turtle unit has been conducting directed surveys in oiled waters and to date, has collected 90 seaturtles. Of these, 83 of these are being cared for in rehabilitation facilities. We have contracted turtle monitors who will monitor for turtles bothfor burn and skimming operations. The observer will watch for andrescue any turtles in oil before the oil is corralled into booms forburning. One observer will be deployed to each team working on a givenday.
    Regards, Joint Information Center Deepwater Horizon Response