National Fisherman

A former FBI director investigating alleged misconduct inside the settlement program for compensating victims of BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill has concluded that a claimant at the center of the investigation was awarded more than $357,000 based on fraudulent information.
In a court filing late Wednesday (Jan. 8), Louis Freeh recommended that a federal judge rescind the award to Casey C. Thonn and order any lawyer who profited from the settlement to pay restitution.
"In filing claims with the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center, Mr. Thonn presented false information and documents, including tax 'returns' that in fact had never been filed with the Internal Revenue Service," the filing said.
The claims center paid Thonn the money "based upon these false documents and Mr. Thonn's misrepresentation of his 2009 shrimping income," the filing said.
Freeh asked the court to order Thonn and any lawyers who benefited to pay back the money they received.
Read the full story at the Times-Picayune>>

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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