National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

Yesterday Alaska's Anchorage Daily News reported that Exxon's lawyers are paving the way for the last payments to Valdez claimants.

Since December Exxon's legal team has been sending out checks for $383 million, most of the original punitive damages award. The interest on the damages totals another $470 million.

It's a relief to see Exxon paying at least a fraction of its due, especially the interest. I was horrified when I heard the oil giant might try to shirk that meager responsibility.

Not that I expect any corporation to see logic and act with compassion. But the fact remains, the fishermen and other claimants were innocent bystanders who lost their livelihoods. They did not flirt with the devil by putting a known substance abuser behind the wheel of a tanker and floating it into a burgeoning ecosystem. Nor did they submit appeal after appeal, slowly shrinking the damages to a mere 10 percent of the original reward.

Exxon used lawyers and the erosion of time to their benefit. Twenty years later, few outside of Alaska recall the horror of that spill. So I figure the least Exxon can do is pay up and be done with it. (Too bad they can't come through for the many plaintiffs who died waiting for this battle to end.)

And that's what Alaskans can expect in the mail: the least Exxon can do. I suppose a drop from their bucket is better than another 20 years of waiting.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

Fishermen in Western Australia captured astonishing footage this week as a five-meter-long great white shark tried to steal their catch, ramming into the side of their boat.
 
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EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
Read more...
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