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May 26, 2010 12:02 AM by Jim Hummel

BP Meets with Fishermen

BP held a town hall-style meeting with Acadiana Fishermen Tuesday. About 300 people attended the meeting, which included a 45 minute discussion on current cleanup efforts in the Gulf, followed by a question and answer session.

Preston Dore, a shrimper from Delcambre had questions for BP officials on the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) Program, which allows fishermen to provide services toward the cleanup effort.

"Why is it taking so long to put vessels to work," Dore asked.

Dore says he signed a contract with BP weeks ago to take part in the program but has been on standby ever since.

"The time to act has [passed], I should've been out there already," Dore said.

BP spokesman Glenn DaGian did acknowledge some glitches in the VOO program,but said fishermen just need to be patient.

"We've had a tremendous amount of outpouring from Southwest Louisiana, but really there's not been a lot of work for the boats to do," DaGian said.

Others raised concerns about filing claims against BP for financial hardship. DaGian said if you're thinking of filing a claim, file it. He advised fishermen to keep good records of any financial hardships they may have encountered because of the oil spill.

If you're considering filing a claim against BP, the number to call is 800-440-0858. If you've already filed a claim and would like to follow up, call 800-573-8249.

Jim Hummel

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