National Fisherman

BP has argued for months in federal court and high-profile newspaper ads that the oil-spill settlement it signed in 2012 should be scrapped if what it believed to be fraudulent payments continued. But the company lost that option late Friday when the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the existing framework for reviewing claims and disbursing funds.
 
The ruling narrows BP's options for avoiding what it says are millions of dollars in payments to individuals and business not harmed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
A BP spokesman said the decision still leaves open the question of whether court-appointed administrator Patrick Juneau is interpreting the settlement accurately—an issue BP has raised with another set of Fifth Circuit judges that is pending.
 
The company contends Mr. Juneau is ignoring language in the settlement requiring proof that a claimant actually was damaged by the Deepwater Horizon spill, which it says has allowed widespread fraud. Mr. Juneau has said he is interpreting the settlement correctly.
 
"The company will continue to press its position on the agreement's threshold requirement that claimants' losses must be traceable to the spill," spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement.
 
BP once estimated spill claims paid from the settlement's funds would cost the company $7.8 billion, a figure that was raised to $9.4 billion. Now those payouts could reach $14 billion, according to Tom Claps, a legal analyst with Susquehanna Capital.
 
Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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