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Seafood Compensation Program - Maryland Injury Lawyers Blog

Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on May 05, 2012 in Oil Spill

The BP Gulf Oil Spill Settlement for those directly involved in the harvesting of seafood is complicated. There are a lot of rumors floating around the fishing communities in Louisiana and elsewhere and it is important that those involved in the Gulf Seafood industry understand the facts when it comes to this settlement. Here are some of the things that you should know:

1. $2.3 Billion Dollars has been set aside to compensate seafood crew, oyster lease holders, boat captains, and commercial fishermen for losses suffered as a result of the Gulf Oil Spill.

2. The categories of compensation are: (i) Shrimp, (ii) Oysters, (iii) Finfish, (iv) Blue Crab/Other Seafood and (v) Seafood Crew. Under each category there are various compensable claims. For example, under "Oysters" a separate claim can be made for oyster leaseholder interest, oyster leaseholder lost income, oyster vessel owner claims, and oyster boat captain claims.

3. This is very important: Seafood Compensation Program Participants must file a single sworn claim form seeking compensation for all claims. You cannot make multiple claims under the seafood compensation program.

4. The Seafood Compensation Program under the authority of the Court and Neutral John W. Perry, Jr.

5. For all participants of the Seafood Compensation Program there will not be an offset for compensation received in connection with the Vessel of Opportunity Program (VOO Program).

6. DEADLINE: the Seafood Program Claim Form must be submitted no later than 30 days from the date that the Court enters its Final Order and Judgment.

7. Claimants who make a claim under the Seafood Program may also make a claim a separate claim for compensation under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement.

8. A friendly warning--the formulas for compensation under the Seafood Compensation Program are quite complicated. The Seafood Compensation Program is set forth in detail in Exhibit 10 to the Settlement Agreement and it is about 85 pages long. It is my opinion that it is a very good idea to consult with an attorney and/or accountant for the preparation of your claim.

9. Generally speaking, Charter Boat Operators will not be eligible for compensation through the Seafood Compensation Program. Their claims for economic loss would be made outside of this separate funded program. However, if a Charter Boat Operator also is a commercial fishermen and earns money off shrimp or oyster, then he could make a claim under the Seafood Program for those losses.

10. Shrimp Boat Captains/Shrimp Vessel Owners can choose anyone of four methods to be compensated (Expedited, Reduced Expedited, New Entrant or Historical Revenue Method). Under the Expedited Compensation Method-Qualifying Shrimp Vessel Boat Owners/Lessees will receive between $104,063.00 and $582,750 depending on the size of their ship. (These amounts include the risk transfer premium of 8.25). Qualifying Shrimp boat captains will receive between $92,813 and $288,750.00 depending on vessel size under the expedited Compensation Method for Shrimper's'.

11. Oyster lease holders can make two types of claims. Leaseholder Interest Compensation and Leaseholder lost income compensation. Oyster Harvesters can make a claim for "Historical Revenue Compensation." Eligible oyster leaseholders will receive either $2,000 per acre, $1,000 per acre or $400.00 per acre depending on whether they are in Zone A, Zone B, or Zone C. The formulas used to calculate Oyster Leaseholder Lost Income is complicated in that it looks at benchmark revenue, then adjusts for change in the 2010-2011 season, then uses an oyster loss percentage of 40% and multiplies by a Risk Transfer Premium of 8.75. Final Compensation is the base compensation amount plus the base compensation amount multiplied by 8.75.

For more information about the Gulf Oil Spill Settlement and how much compensation you can get visit our website.

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