Fishermen Sue Big Oil Companies Over Rising Sea Temperatures

Something that both marine scientists and fishermen can agree on: oil drilling hurts the ocean in so many ways.

Commercial fishermen in California and Oregon sued dozens of oil and gas companies yesterday for hurting the fishing market in the Pacific Ocean by raising temperatures on Earth.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) is seeking financial compensation for its losses from 30 companies, including oil and gas supermajors, according to the suit filed in a California state court.

“It’s industry to industry, one harming another with the causal connection to prove it,” Noah Oppenheim, executive director of PCFFA, said in an interview. “Certainly we believe that the merits of the case are pretty clear and self-explanatory.”

Defendants in the case, including Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and ConocoPhillips, have known for almost 50 years that burning fossil fuels warms the planet, the plaintiffs said.

Algal blooms, which can lead to a buildup of domoic acid in crabs, are scientifically tied to warming oceans. Because the acid is dangerous to people, human-caused warming is directly threatening the fishing industry, said Oppenheim, who has degrees in marine biology and marine policies.

“If the fishermen were causing this much harm to the public, we should get shut down,” he said.

Read Full Story: Scientific American/Benjamin Hulac

Photo: Thomas Millot/Unsplash

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