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Gulf Coast fishermen plead for help

Video by Nathan KING , Emmanuel SAINT-MARTIN

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-05-03

After the oil-slick disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen has been affected. Many of them gathered at a local high school, wondering what BP would do for them.

The future of hundreds of fishermen whose work has been affected by the oil-slick disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is in doubt.

At a meeting in Venice, in south-east Louisiana, hundreds of fishermen, wondering what will come after the oil slick, have gathered to hear what BP — the oil company in charge of the broken rig that is spilling thousands of barrels into the Mexican Gulf each day — can offer them.

Dave Kinnard, community coordinator for the company, has come to hear the fisherman out.

"We are here to help them. Quite frankly, at this point I don’t know what we can do for them," said Kinnard. "But our role is to talk to the community and find out what they need and try to address their needs anyway we can."

His biggest challenge will be to convince the shrimpers, whose season has been destroyed by the slick.

AC Cooper, vice president of the Lousiana Shrimp Association, is angry.

He told FRANCE24: "BP needs to step up for one thing. Put us to work to begin with. The state and the federal government need to step up."

Fishermen say they are willing to help, highlighting the fact that their local knowledge could help rescue the coast.

So far, BP has taken no concrete action. People in Louisiana, who have been promised many things in the past, are weary.

Date created : 2010-05-03

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