Posts Tagged ‘menhaden’
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.
Feinberg just changed the rules again.
On Tuesday, he added a rules modification to the GCCF claims process, designed to tighten payout criteria. “It is clear, that as time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine whether changes in revenue and earnings are due to the oil spill or other factors,” the notice said.
Clear…how clear exactly?
Those (both business and individual) who continue to file interim claims must now show a 5% increase in revenue growth from 2010 to qualify for full compensation from the claims fund. Feinberg reports that businesses along the Gulf Coast are increasing their revenue on average by 10% so this 5% should be no problem, is certainly generous, and whereas this might be more accurate for those in the tourist industry, for those in the fishing industry it is less so. In justifying this growth rate for the fishing industry, Feinberg reports all federal and nearly all state fishing grounds have been reopened, there have been increases in the catch of shrimp the first four months of 2011 and a solid harvest of menhaden is expected, so all will now be well for the fishermen to continue on, recovered. Their revenue must grow by 5%, or they will not be fully compensated because any growth less than that cannot be blamed on British Petroleum and their oil spill, not anymore.
Remember back in February when the final methodology came out and Feinberg refused to compensate workers affected by the drilling moratorium because said moratorium wasn’t directly attributable to BP? Well, using this same logic, if the general impression across the country is that the seafood in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t safe and nobody wants to buy it, that isn’t BP’s fault either.
The fact that the moratorium happened, and the impression that Gulf seafood is our country’s newest carcinogen is surely not related to any oil spill.
Not at all…
I read report after report from shrimpers talking about the small catch, about the size of the shrimp themselves and how their catch was oftentimes rotting on the dock because people didn’t want to buy it. Some shrimpers were even calling for the season to be cancelled altogether.
Did their revenues increase by 5% from 2010?
Maybe, maybe not.
What about the seafood processors?
What about claimants making interim subsistence claims?
And, what happens in the future, if this oil spill has worked its way into the food supply, if the fish lesions don’t go away, if the oil found in crab larvae doesn’t disappear, if a hurricane stirs this whole mess up all over again?
In any case, the rules on interim claims just got a lot tighter, and much more complicated.
However, if this all concerns you, perhaps you might rest easier knowing that when it comes to this growth rate, Feinberg has estimated that 75% of the businesses and individuals in the Gulf will experience a 5.6% growth rate. Also, he estimates by way of previous disasters that the Gulf will recover 70% the first year and 30% the next. Oh, and when it comes to those unemployed by this spill, he now states that unemployment benefits as a result of the spill will end after 78 weeks, and his analysis shows this will cover 95% of the people without jobs.
For any of you slipping through these cracks? Well, Feinberg and BP have made you whole enough.
But back to the interim claims:
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has alleged that Feinberg, rather than paying interim claims, is attempting to coerce Gulf Coast claimants into accepting final claims which require they sign away their rights to sue British Petroleum for future damages. A month ago, British Petroleum made demands that Feinberg stop paying all future claims because the Gulf Coast has recovered.
As a result of these new modifications to the rules, it would appear that while Feinberg insisted Jim Hood was wrong, he thought his employers, British Petroleum, might just be right.
And anyone slipping through the percentages?
Read the rule changes:
Have a nice day.