The growing oil slick that once was the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t appear to be anywhere near resolution, with all attempts to staunch the flow of petroleum thus far having failed and the only solution that experts are sure will work — drilling relief wells — several months away. But as the fishermen in the area fret about what will happen to their livelihoods in both the short and long term, we found some video evidence that should quell the concerns of those in the oyster biz.
In this informational film called Progress Parade, the final segment is “Lifeline to an Oyster,” which details the oil industry’s efforts in the late ’50s/early ’60s to prove to a bunch of wet-blanket Gulf fishermen that all that new oil drilling was not the cause of recent problems with their bivalve harvest.
The charitable folks in the oil industry invested millions in research (though in the video it just looks like 3 fish tanks with some oysters and a few bottles of motor oil. Oh yeah, they also set off a bunch of dynamite near oyster beds) and came up with the result that not only did crude oil not harm oysters, but the mollusks actually did better in their oily fish tanks then they did in the somewhat oily Gulf.
Don’t believe it? Check out the evidence for yourself. Skip ahead to 9:17 in the video, or watch the earlier segments… all brought to you by the unbiased documentarians at the American Petroleum Institute.
Progress Parade (ca. 1960) [Archive.org]