BP once again found itself on the line of fire on Friday when Obama administration’s report confirmed that endangered sea turtles along with other marine creatures are being burned alive in 500 square-mile “burn fields” operations intended to stop the oil spill from extending to Gulf of Mexico.
The spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement that BP was explicitly told to avoid causing any harm to turtles in the process of cleaning oil from the sea.
"My understanding is that protocols include looking for wildlife prior to igniting of oil. We take these things very seriously,” said NOAA spokeswoman.
As per NOAA report, so far over 425 endangered turtles have died after being caught up in the ongoing oil cleaning attempts by BP.
A disturbing video posted on YouTube too accuses BP
Captain Mike Ellis from Venice, Louisiana, recently, in a short video posted on YouTube, accused BP of chasing away rescue boats of conservationists who went to rescue turtles caught in oil spill.
Ellis revealed that in order to save creatures from oil spill he collaborated with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NAOO).
The spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said in a statement that BP was explicitly told to avoid causing any harm to turtles in the process of cleaning oil from the sea.
Referring to their efforts, started on June 1, on rescuing turtles, Ellis said, "My boat was used as the support vessel. I had NOAA vets on board. They would take oiled turtles from the water, clean and photograph them, record the information, doctor them and transport them to shore at the end of the day."
He added later that turtles were taken to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas quarantine for further treatment, caring, and observation.
However, after some time BP and the U.S. Coast Guard started playing spoilt sport with their mission to rescue creatures trapped in oil spill.
"They ran us out of there and then they shut us down," said Ellis.
Environmentalists upset over the reports
All these reports stating the dangers faced by turtles and other creatures have enraged environmentalists who are now demanding that BP must stop blocking rescue efforts for the troubled turtles.
Environmentalists are also asking the U.S. administration to stop the burning process and launch an investigation into BP’s role in killing all those endangered species so mercilessly.
"It is criminal and cruel and they need to be held accountable. There should not be another lighting of a fire of any kind till people have gone in there and looked for turtles," said Carole Allen, Gulf office director of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
Research scientist Blair Witherington too agreed, and said, "There's a legal reason to care because they're protected under the Endangered Species Act, and one can't just go about killing sea turtles the way one kills ants or flies."