As the debate continues to rage over whether fishers affected by the BP oil spill are being made whole, new data from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility show that oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg has more than compensated Louisiana’s fishing industry for its estimated losses through 2013.
Feinberg has paid more than $357 million to 12,300 Louisianians who catch fish, crabs, shrimp or oysters for a living, according to official oil spill claims data. That’s well beyond the $300 million that GNO Inc. recently estimated to be the worst-case spill-induced loss to commercial fisheries statewide.
The average total payout to Louisiana fishers is more than $29,000. That’s $5,000 more than the average compensation across the whole program, which has paid more than $5.1 billion to about 207,000 claimants hailing from all 50 states and several foreign countries.