Huffpost Politics

Four Years Later, BP Oil Spill Still Taking A Toll On Gulf Fisherman: 'We Haven't Started To Recover'

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The BP oil spill, often called the worst man-made environmental disaster of our time, first began four years ago today. On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded, causing more than 200 million gallons of oil to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. 11 workers on the rig died, and the resulting cleanup has already cost BP more than $26 billion.

But for many fisherman along the Gulf, despite all the time and money spent to try and heal the region, lasting effects are still taking their toll. The Gulf Coast's oyster populations, home to about two-thirds of American supply, have been in decline since the spill.

Byron Encalade, a fisherman along the Gulf Coast, joined HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps to discuss the ongoing impacts of the spill.

"You have to start to recovery, we haven't started to recover." he said. "We're 4 years out now, and we haven't saw the first sign, and most of the businesses, I know my business is at a 100 percent loss. Right now we're solely relying on BP to keep it's word, something they haven't been doing. The oysters are not recovering."

However, BP has said oyster populations were not impacted by the spill, providing this comment to HuffPost Live:

"Multiple sources of data indicate that oil and dispersant compounds did not affect oyster populations in 2010 after the spill occured. A Louisiana report from 2010 after the spill states that 'no direct oiling of sampled reefs was noted during annual sampling of public oyster seed grounds in Louisiana. Field notes from 2010, 2011 and 2012 NRD sampling to not document a single visibly oiled oyster bed.'"

But Encalade said that couldn't be further from the truth.

"Well, I'm going to say this, and God knows that I'm tired of being politically correct: BP's lying." he said. "I was out there on that boat ... that's one of the biggest lies ever told."

Take a look at the oysterman's story above, and watch the clips below to hear more about the ongoing recovery throughout gulf communities, four years and billions of dollars later.

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