National Fisherman


Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.

 

 

So is anybody jazzed that Exxon Mobil has been ordered to pay about $500 million in interest on the 507.5 million in punitive damages payments to plaintiffs in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

It's understandable. After all, Exxon can still appeal the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco's ruling. Given the years of protracted legal wrangling Exxon engaged in to whittle the punitive damages sum from $5 billion to $500 million, would it be surprising if the oil giant does so again?

If the appeals court's decision stands, average payments to Alaska natives, fishermen, related businesses and others harmed by the spill would double from $15,000 to $30,000. Considering the toll upon fishermen — years of lost income, families torn apart while waiting for years for the case to resolve — you can understand it if folks aren't jumping up and down for joy.

And if Exxon does appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, who knows how long it'll take to render a decision? Hence, readers commenting on the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News http://www.adn.com/2009/06/15/831867/court-rules-exxon-owes-a-billion.html article announcing the court's decision were underwhelmed by the ruling.

Asked one reader, "Do we REALLY believe that these folks will ever see any more money from Exxon?"

After years of disappointment, the plaintiffs will believe it when they see it.

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more ...

The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

Read more ...
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