National Fisherman


A former BP senior engineer found guilty last year of destroying evidence related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was granted a new trial based on his claim of juror misconduct.
 
Kurt Mix was convicted by a federal jury in December of one of two counts of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said Mix deleted from his mobile phone text messages and voice mails related to BP’s effort to estimate the size of what turned out to be largest U.S. offshore oil spill.
 
Mix asked U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. in New Orleans to throw out the conviction, contending he didn’t get a fair trial. Duval yesterday rejected Mix’s claim that the evidence wasn’t sufficient for a conviction, while finding he wasn’t tried by an impartial jury because of misconduct by one of the 12 panelists.
 
That juror brought in comments from outside the jury room she had overheard in an elevator, saying that they reaffirmed her intent to vote guilty, Duval said. The remark came after the jury was deadlocked “and a verdict was reached in essence two deliberative hours thereafter,” he said. 
 
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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.

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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.

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