[Fishy smell!]Oyster harvesters got "surpise " BP damage-claim checks | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


[Fishy smell!]Oyster harvesters got "surpise " BP damage-claim checks

Oysters await in oil-free bay as harvesters cash BP damage-claim checks
By Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel
9:55 p.m. EDT, June 23, 2010
APALACHICOLA — The capital of Florida's oyster industry has a history of surviving everything from drought to toxic algae, and it was bracing for an onslaught of crude oil when another sort of calamity struck that nobody saw coming: a flood of cash.
Emergency payments to local oyster harvesters by BP PLC, whose blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has slathered four states with crude, has triggered an abrupt drop-off this month in the time harvesters are spending on Apalachicola Bay. That, in turn, has left seafood dealers on shore with far fewer oysters to process and sell.
BP's checks, ranging up to $5,000 each, were meant to compensate locals for income-related losses, though oil has not yet entered the bay, and it's not clear to many oyster dealers and some oystermen what losses could have occurred.

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