Ken Feinberg’s next modification…
Feinberg has maintained that periodically he will be taking a look at the GCCF, it’s claims structures and the state of the Gulf to determine whether any modification to payments is necessary. It is this reappraisal which led to the changes last August where businesses had to show a growth rate of five percent to qualify for continued payment of interim claims. This is also when he added compensation to the claims of some oyster lease holders.
At the time, Feinberg stressed his growth rate requirement was modest, especially when it came to the fishers because not only had all federal and most state fishing grounds reopened, but he also reported the shrimp catches were increasing and prospects were good for the menhaden.
Well, things have changed since then.
And those changes are not positive.
In a recent LSU Study, the killifish, a local minnow is showing signs of hydrocarbon poisoning. This species is near the bottom of the food chain, and the damage to its ability to reproduce could soon echo up the entire chain and as far as the menhaden Feinberg spoke of in his modification, there have been some puzzling changes which are currently being investigated. The menhaden are a small herring like species that is harvested for its oil, and according to Randy Pausina of the Louisiana State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, “The industry says the oil yield is down.”
Also troubling, though Feinberg in his modification reported shrimp catches were improving, this claim has proved incorrect:
This year’s white shrimp harvest in the waters off Louisiana’s southeastern coast is significantly lower than in the past, forcing some people in the industry to look elsewhere for product and scale back operations while others blame the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.
“I am talking to the guys, I am talking to the docks, and they are telling me that they are 80 percent off,” said Clint Guidry, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. “We should have had a good year this year.” Carol Terrebonne, who runs the Seafood Shed, a seafood wholesaler in Golden Meadow, agreed, “Usually at this time of the year, we are loading trailer loads,” Terrebonne said. “It’s just not happening.”
Recently, when Feinberg spoke of modifying the GCCF’s rules, he spoke not of increased payouts, he continued to speak about the Gulf’s rapid recovery and implied that people now taking interim claims might want to settle for final claim payouts because he might not be so willing to continue with what he considers to be his generous offers. This is odd, considering his offers are not typically perceived as generous, the science coming out of the Gulf, especially concerning the fishing industry is not good, and those interim claims are intended for claimants who are continuing to seek damages…
Claimants like shrimpers whose catches are down, like menhaden fishers whose oil intake is down, like all the other fishers out there who could see this hydrocarbon poisoning work up the food chain to their particular catches.
Ken, you need to get out of your office and start paying attention.
Back to the killifish and its implications:
More worrisome were affects that are less noticeable immediately.
“We detected compromised estrogen signaling, which is pretty important to reproduction,” Whitehead said. “And the oil came ashore during the peak times for reproduction for many species in the habitat, so we don’t know how widespread this is” among other species.
The results mirror some findings after the Valdez disaster. While most experts thought the dynamism of the Mississippi River delta’s sub-tropical ecosystem would allow a quicker surface recovery than that seen in frigid Alaska, the big concern was the eventual impact of long-lived toxic hydrocarbons that had spread across the region and settled into its soft water bottoms. Some of the worst effects of the Valdez pollution didn’t show up for two or three years.
Fix your claims system Ken…
Your estimations that all will be well in the Gulf by 2013 are wrong.
Your modifications were based on faulty science.
Every mistake you make, hurts people and leaves families behind.
Have a nice day.