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Fishermen, unable to work, consider cleaning up the oil slick

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-05-03

Commercial fishermen, unable to continue with their work, are now considering working on clean-up operations organized by the BP. Our correspondents talked to some of them.


With shrimping grounds closed, many commercial fishermen, unable to continue their work, are considering working on clean-up operations organized by BP after an explosion at one of its wells threatened the Gulf Coast with an oil slick.

The oil company is willing to pay 1,200 dollars a day to local fisherman for their boats and local knowledge. The work will consist in laying down protective booms that will help control the spill and save the environment.

Herman Demoll and his son, members of a four-generation commercial fishing family, are thinking of joining the operations.

"We are ready to get to work," says Herman Jr. "We don’t make money sitting at home, we need to be on the water."

But his father has reservations.

"I want to talk more about it to see what’s going to happen with the oil spill and how they are going to pay us," said Herman Sr. He added that he wants to make sure he can take part in a lawsuit against the company, should he decide to, after working for the oil company.

Refineries dot the landscape in the area. The oil business has been around for a long time, and no one here seems to think it should go away.

"I don”t think there should be a conflict, because this is part of the culture too," said the younger Demoll.

In 2005, the strength of the oil industry brought people back to the area after hurricane Katrina had devastated the fragile peninsula. Today, no matter how bad the slick becomes in the coming days, people are resigned to stay.

Date created : 2010-05-03

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