National Fisherman


BP is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in a battle over who should receive monetary damages related to the Gulf oil spill.

The London oil company on Friday filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to enforce requirements for claimants to prove they can join a class-action settlement that has poured billions of dollars into Gulf Coast pockets to fix economic wreckage left by the spill.

BP said the Supreme Court should reverse lower-court decisions that approved a settlement class with "vast numbers" of claimants who weren't financially harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and require claimants to show evidence that losses were due to the spill.

After a defeat in a lower court, the company said in May it would look to take the legal fight to the high court.

Current interpretations of the settlement, BP said, contradict class-action law as well as the Supreme Court's long-held interpretation of a section of the Constitution that requires a plaintiff to trace its injury to a defendant's actions. Those lower court rulings also depart from similar rulings adopted by several other appeals courts and deepen a circuit-court conflict over how class-action members are defined, the energy company said.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle>>

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Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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