Bayou La Batre fishermen block sound in protest

Published 5:56 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BAYOU LA BATRE (AP) — Commercial fishermen in Bayou La Batre have staged a brief blockade to protest that BP is not using enough local fishermen and boats to fight the massive oil spill.

Several boats blocked the entrance to Mississippi Sound at the bayou Wednesday morning before being ordered to disperse.

Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright said one fisherman was briefly detained, but not arrested. Wright said BP is using boats from out of state rather than local fishing boats and local fishermen who know the Gulf waters.

There were also complaints that fishermen hired by BP are having trouble getting paid.

A spokesman for the Unified Command’s Joint Information Center in Mobile, Tim O’Leary, said an effort is being made to assign work first to commercial vessels in the area where they are licensed, which would give first priority to Alabama boats for work on the state’s coast.