So-called burn boxes are torching oil from the water's surface at the sacrifice of turtles, crabs, sea slugs and other sea life.
But the burn operations have proved particularly excruciating for the turtle researchers, who have been trolling the same lines of oil and seaweed as the boom boats, hoping to pull turtles out of the sargassum before they are burned alive.
Much of the wildlife here seems doomed in any case. "We've seen the oil covering the turtles so thick they could barely move, could hardly lift their heads," Witherington said. "I won't pretend to know which is the nastiest."
Yet in one case, the crew had to fall back and watch as skimmers gathered up a long line of sargassum that hadn't yet been searched — and which they believe was full of turtles that might have been saved.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment