National Fisherman

NEW ORLEANS — BP asked a federal judge on Tuesday to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program.

BP PLC argues in a court filing that it shouldn't be required to take the risk that hundreds of millions of dollars in claims payments could be "tainted by fraud, corruption and malfeasance."

"A temporary suspension in ... payments will eliminate the serious risk of any further irreparable harm to BP while having little negative impact upon the claimants," attorneys for the London-based oil giant wrote.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule on BP's most recent request to temporarily halt settlement payouts.

In April, Barbier refused to block what could be billions of dollars of payments to businesses after BP argued that he and court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau have misinterpreted the settlement and forced the company to pay for inflated and fictitious losses.

Barbier, who appointed Juneau, upheld his interpretation of settlement terms governing payments to businesses. BP appealed that decision.

Read the full story at Washington Post>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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