Gulf oil leak has South Mississippi fishermen concerned - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulf oil leak has South Mississippi fishermen concerned


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - An oil clean up effort was put on hold for a second day because of high seas in the Gulf of Mexico. That has some local leaders watching and praying as Mississippi waits to see if the oil spill will head our way.

Pass Christian's harbor master said the entire Gulf Coast is on alert. Ann Jackson and her family spent Sunday afternoon watching dozens of commercial fishing boats sail in Pass Christian's Blessing of the Fleet.

"It's the first time for the fleet blessing, but we work over here. We oyster and stuff over here," said Jackson.

As the Jacksons and other fishermen looked out into the waters, they said they worried that tens of thousands of gallons of oil leaking each day into the Gulf of Mexico could be headed this way.

"It's kind of scary. That's a big leak," said Jackson. "I hope they get it cleaned up so it don't mess up the fishing and oystering and stuff because it probably will."

James Lassabe is also a fishermen.

"Let me start by saying you know as far as the family's loss, I'm sorry about all that," Lassabe said. "Hopefully it won't make it down this far and hurt our reefs. We've been having enough trouble with that already so hopefully it won't make it this far."

Pass Christian's Harbor Master said local, state and federal agencies are taking the oil threat seriously.

"Everybody is on alert on the whole coast," said Harbor Master Willie Davis. "They do that for precautions just in case something happens so you've got to get prepared. If anything tries to get inside the harbor and contaminate the harbor, we have booms we can wrap around the harbor and at least contain this area but as far as outside the harbor here that's another."

Davis said whether or not the oil spill becomes a problem for the seafood industry here in Mississippi will largely depend on Mother Nature.

"Weather and wind has a lot to play in it," said Davis. "So I guess we're just kind of hoping and praying they've got it pretty much contained now as best as they can. Hopefully no bad weather hits so nothing breaks loose and it does not spread."

Davis said waves are another concern in spreading the oil. Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials said Sunday they are trying to stop the flow of oil by using robot submarines to activate valves at the well head. Officials say that will take at least a day or more to complete. If that doesn't work, crews are also planning to drill a relief well to cut off the flow. That could take several months.

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