This is straight out of “The Simpsons,” except it’s real life:

“The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”

Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.

Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants.

Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster.

Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause.

Read the whole thing. One fisherman says that she’s catching crabs that you open up, and they’re still alive, but they smell like they’re dead.

“I’ve never seen this,” he said, a statement Al Jazeera heard from every scientist, fisherman, and seafood processor we spoke with about the seafood deformities.

Given that the Gulf of Mexico provides more than 40 per cent of all the seafood caught in the continental US, this phenomenon does not bode well for the region, or the country.

Thanks, BP! More on this sort of thing from Outside magazine, including this memorable, extremely nasty quote from a Grand Isle, La., seafood broker:

I asked Blanchard whom he blamed for the disaster. “The French media came and asked me whose fault it was. I told ’em Napoleon. He should’ve killed all the British at Waterloo. The German media came. I told ’em Hitler. He should’ve bombed ’em with the fu–in’ Luftwaffe. The American media came. I told ’em it was George Washington’s fu–in’ fault. We been fightin’ the British on this island since 1673.”