GULF COAST COMMERCIAL SHRIMPERS
Among the vibrant industries off the gulf coast is the commercial shrimp industry. 73% of all U.S. shrimp fishing is in the Gulf Coast and it is currently being devastated by BP’s oil spill. Employing hundreds of local fishing vessels up and down the coast, the commercial shrimpers are a vital part of dozens of local economies in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The economic damage to the Gulf Coast shrimp industry is going to be both immediate and long term.
Immediate Needs: Commercial shrimpers need immediate assistance due to fishing closures, lost income, mounting expenses, and property damage.
Future Losses: Shrimp spawn in the spring, and damage to larvae, which are closer to the surface, will cripple the harvest for years to come. Many shrimpers will be forced into bankruptcy.
The commercial shrimp industry of the Gulf Coast needs the financial support of BP, today.
Unfortunately, chances are that help from BP will come slowly. BP knows that the more years that go by, the more difficult it is to prove that lost income was a direct result of an event. Some claims from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill were only finalized in 2008. Those commercial shrimpers that coordinate their claims with aggressive attorneys early on will have a better chance at protecting their future.
Dean Blanchard Seafood recently offered, "I'm 51 years old, and for the first time in my life I woke up yesterday morning and looked out my window at the water and saw one trawler out there working," he says. "All because the oil company wanted to save money on a $500,000 valve."
Commercial shrimpers are wearing thin with what seem to be empty promises by BP. We have heard numerous concerns regarding the claims process BP has established for commercial shrimpers. There are complaints of conflicting instructions, unnecessary paperwork, delayed payments, discriminatory treatment towards fishermen with legal help, and other serious objections that should be addressed.
The Oil Spill Task Force, sponsored by Arnold & Itkin, coordinates the financial, legal, and investigative resources needed to successfully represent the claims of commercial shrimpers as they look to BP for resolution and recovery. For more information, please call: 888-498-8212.