BP Spill Fund Doubling Compensation to Crab and Shrimp Fishermen

Published Dec 1, 2011 2:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the $20 billion BP victim fund from the 2010 oil spill, has announced that crab and shrimp fishermen along the Gulf may be eligible for much larger settlement payments than previously offered.

Under these new rules, the fishermen can have a final settlement equal to four times their demonstrable losses from 2010. Before, it was only up to twice your losses, as it is for claimants in other industries, except oyster farmers whose crops take years to replenish.

Changes to the settlement came about during white shrimp season. People throughout the coast have described it as the worst that they can remember and there are still lingering doubts over the safety of seafood. The oil spill could be a factor, but the cause of the downfall is unclear. Thousands of crabbers and shrimpers are holding out and are planning to sue BP in court rather than settle. A trial begins in New Orleans next February over the spill.

Other changes to the fund include that losses claimed by people or businesses in Texas or Florida (south of the panhandle) were no longer presumed due to the spill, based on revenue comparisons. To date, the BP fund has paid out almost 6 billion dollars to about 217,000 claimants.