Red snapper season is about to begin in the Gulf of Mexico, and scientists are furiously studying samples of fish to determine whether they have been impacted by last year’s BP oil spill. So far, the results have been inconclusive. While many fish look perfectly healthy, others show signs of health problems. There have been red snapper pulled out of the Gulf of Mexico with skin lesions and fin rot. However, these issues have been present before the catastrophic oil spill decimated the Gulf Coast last spring. The main task for scientists is to determine whether the current health issues present in these fish have been caused by the oil spill, and if so, how it will impact the many charter boat captains counting on the income earned from these fishing expeditions. It is possible that the conflicting reports from researchers are due to differences in their methodology. An Alabama research team found no sign of infection in more than 300 red snapper that were caught. These researchers spent approximately 15-30 minutes at every reef before moving on to a different location, regardless of the number and condition of fish caught. A Louisiana research team, on the other hand, found several fish with skin lesions or liver damage. However, this team spent more time at each fishing location in an attempt to locate sick fish. Therefore, while they caught many healthy fish, they were also able to snag a significant percentage that showed signs of being sick. Ultimately, more research will be needed to conclusively determine the impact the BP oil spill has had on the red snapper population off the Gulf Coast. This will be a lengthy process, and it is still uncertain how the condition of these fish will affect the livelihoods of fishermen in the area. If you have suffered damages due to then BP oil spill, the attorneys at Long & Long can help you with the filing of your claim. Your ability to receive the compensation you deserve is greatly impacted by having experienced legal representation. We can help you navigate the complex regulations governing these claims so that you can get back on your feet as soon as possible. Please contact Long & Long today to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients in Mobile, Alabama.