BP may not pay for oyster bed losses

BATON ROUGE, La. — Oyster fishermen don’t know if they’ll be paid by BP for the shellfish deaths caused by opening the state’s freshwater diversion structures in a bid to flush out oil encroaching on the oyster beds because of the Gulf spill.

The decision to open the release valves on the Mississippi River diversions was made by the Jindal administration. It says BP is liable because the diversions were used to keep oil from devastating oyster reefs.

Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser says BP claims workers are telling oyster fishermen they won’t be paid for oyster bed losses caused by opening the diversion structures, because the damage wasn’t caused by oil.

However, Darryl Willis, head of claims for BP, says no decisions have been made.

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