The tug company responsible for an oil spill off the coast of Bella Bella have paid out compensation to 50 clam fishermen who lost their jobs this winter.
It’s the least they could. That’s what Heiltsuk Nation Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett says about the U.S. tug firm who coughed up cash for those immediately impacted by an oil spill.
“It’s comparable to what they would have received had they gone out for a clam fisheries. It’s just for this year but it’s a few hundred thousand. They were received on a without prejudice basis.”
Kirby Corporation, owners of the Nathan. E. Stewart which ran aground in October paid out over $200,000 in compensation to clam fishermen in the area.
Slett says the money will only pay for lost earnings for this season’s harvest.
“These funds were received from the Kirby Corporation and they were received on without prejudice basis. This Gale Pass is our bread basket and it could not have happened at a worse possible location.”
Slett says a long-term compensation package is also being discussed with the firm.
She says discussions between the Heiltsuk Nation and Kirby Corporation about other lost earnings in the area are ongoing.