Landrieu Asks BP to Aid Louisiana’s Commercial Fishermen

May 10, 2010

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., has renewed her call for British Petroleum (BP) to provide financial support to commercial fishermen in the Gulf who have been affected by the oil disaster.

Sen. Landrieu met with BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward and encouraged the company to offer immediate assistance to impacted businesses, which harvest in the 23 percent of Gulf fisheries that have been closed by the spill.

“Gulf Coast commercial fishermen are in desperate need of immediate and direct assistance from BP,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I have urged BP officials to honor the fact that this unprecedented disaster has, at least temporarily, put many of our fishermen, shrimpers and oystermen out of business. What these fishermen need is a financial support package from BP to help pay their bills and provide for their families, as we learn more about the environmental damage caused by this oil spill. I have every reason to believe that BP is willing to step up and assist these families and businesses, and that support must continue so long as their livelihoods are being affected by this disaster.”

As of May 5, only areas east of the Mississippi River are closed to fishing and harvesting of seafood, which account for 23 percent of Gulf Coast fisheries’ seafood production. Despite the oil slick off Louisiana’s coast, quality Louisiana seafood is still readily available for consumers

In 2008, commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico harvested 1.27 million pounds of finfish and shellfish and generated $659 million in revenue from these harvests. Depending on the season, up to 40 percent of the nation’s commercial seafood harvest comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana seafood is a $2.4 billion industry, and is responsible for more than 27,000 jobs.

Source: U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s Office

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