NEW ORLEANS — A fish oil company with ties to a former Republican president enlisted the help of Louisiana's GOP governor to get its oil spill claim paid four years ago, and now BP is arguing in federal court that the independent settlement claims administrator should lose his job because of it.

The fish oil company is Houston-based Omega Protein Corp., a spinoff of an old oil company founded by George H.W. Bush and later run by the late sports mogul Malcolm Glazer.

It fishes around the world for menhaden, or pogies, tiny shallow-water fish that are too bony to eat, but are great for making fish meal and are rich in the omega-3 oil that is used to make popular health supplements. A key part of its operations are in the Gulf of Mexico, where its fishing boats and production plants help rake in tens of millions of dollars.

The BP oil spill shut down most fishing in the Gulf for months in 2010. Omega Protein touts itself as the largest commercial fishing operation in the Gulf, so it's no surprise that it had the largest corporate claim with BP's Gulf Coast Claims Facility – nearly $45 million.

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