With every passing hour, folks who live along the gulf coast are slowly watching life as they know it slip away. Oil from the deepwater horizon spill is still gushing into the gulf with no end in sight. Instead of working out on the water in what is normally their busiest time of year, many locals who make their living out on the water are sitting idle worried about the future.
A hand full of people from the fishing industry meet Wednesday at the Captains Table restaurant to discuss their frustrations with the vessels of opportunity and BP. they feel like locals have not been picked first to help out with the oil clean up some of those on hand are not able to fish or do charter boat runs like they normally do and now they are starting to feel it in their pockets.” We’re upset with BP and vessels of opportunity program it appears that they're not using or utilizing the people that make a living on water”, said Jeff Moorman a light tackle fisherman.
Others say they were activated by the vessels of opportunity but have not been deployed, and that means no pay.” Being that my boat have been activated under contract I’ve had to take off all of my fishing gear and put what they want on the boat and under the contract you can't go to work for anybody else once you've been activated”, said Russell Stewart captain of a charter boat.
Another frustration most agreed on, is they have been seeing pontoon boats being used for the vessel of opportunity. "Well you've got a lot of pontoon boats out there and my question is what are you going to use a pontoon boat for? You can't pull anything with it you can't really pull a boom with it or anything of that nature you can't carry a whole lot and it's slow”, Rick Coorly marina business owner.
Most said they have applied for the vessels of opportunity and when they try to contact b-p they get no answers. We tried to contact b-p today and they didn't return our phone call.