BP OIL SPILL: Five years later and fishing is fine

TINA HARBUCK
Almost every captain in town was at a meeting in the early days after the spill with a contractor who planed on hiring members of the fleet to lay out boom to protect the coast.

No problems here.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the BP oil disaster that threatened the Gulf of Mexico along the Emerald Coast, fishing is fine according to local charter boat captains.

“Fortunately for us we haven’t seen any effects,” said Capt. Mike Graef of the charter boat Huntress.

“We certainly dodged a bullet,” he said.

As a matter of fact, Graef went as far to say that fishing is as good as it was five years before the spill that dumped 4.9 million barrels of discharge into the Gulf.

“I can’t tell any difference,” Graef said.

Capt. Chris Schoffield of the No Alibi agrees with Graef.

“Fishing is as good as ever,” Schoffield said.

However, Schoffield said it was a bit iffy right after the oil disaster.

“We didn’t see as many cobia that first year after,” he said.

He also made mention of seeing fish with “legions and spots” on them right after the spill.

“But we’re not seeing that anymore.”

“We don’t see any fish with any oil related incidents,” said Capt. Eddie Dykes of the Shamrock II.

“Fishing is good as far as I know.”

As for long-term affects from the oil spill, some think it’s yet to be determined.

“We haven’t had a big storm to stir it up,” said Schoffield.

“I think a lot of it is still on the bottom.”

Capt. Dykes was of the same opinion.

“I don’t think we’ll know until we get a major hurricane … if we’re going to see anything we’ll see it then,” Dykes said.

But for now, “fishing is fine,” said Capt. Mike Parker of the Silver King.

“Everything is pretty well back to normal. The bait are showing up and the fish are following them in.

“The good Lord is still blessing Destin,” Parker said.