Cosco Busan Ends With $3.6M Fisherman Payout - NBC Bay Area

Cosco Busan Ends With $3.6M Fisherman Payout



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    About 120 commercial fishermen will split $3.6 million in damages under a legal settlement over a 2007 oil spill in San Francisco Bay.

      An attorney for the fishermen announced the settlement Tuesday with Hong Kong-based firms Fleet Management Ltd. and Regal Stone Ltd. Attorney Stuart Gross told the San Francisco Chronicle that a separate judgment is being requested for the attorney's fees.
    The companies owned and operated the Cosco Busan, a cargo ship that struck a tower of the Bay Bridge in dense fog and spilled 53,000 gallons of fuel.
    The oil killed more than 2,000 birds died and fouled 26 miles of shoreline.
    Fishermen argued that it damaged surf perch, halibut and live bait fisheries.
    Fleet Management was ordered to pay $10 million in criminal penalties over the spill in 2009.

    Stuart Gross, an attorney representing the fisherman complemented Fleet and Regal for doing "what was right, adding that the settlement is fair compensation for the uncertainty that still remains for their livelihood.

    "If you come into the Bay and spill oil, the chief stewards of the Bay - local commercial fishermen - will do everything in their power to hold you accountable for it." Gross said.

    The deal still needs approval.  A court date is set for that on Jan. 25.