Local Fishermen's Contingency Fund
Among other things, 1978 amendments to the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act established the Federal
Fishermen's Contingency Fund. This fund reimburses commercial
fishermen for lost or damaged fishing gear attributable to oil and
gas development in offshore Federal waters. However, fishermen may
wait as long as seven months to receive payments on approved claims,
which can result in costly down-time for fishermen without sufficient
capital to repair or replace gear on their own. Additionally, the
Federal fund does not cover loss or damage to gear that occurs in
State waters, unless such loss or damage was caused by an oil and
gas project in Federal waters.
Santa Barbara County's Local Fishermen's Contingency Fund, established
in 1988, compliments the Federal Fishermen's Contingency Fund in
the following ways:
1. The Local Fund serves as a loan program to facilitate funding
of timely repair or replacement of damaged or lost fishing gear
while claims to the Federal Fund are being processed.
2. The Local Fund reimburses commercial fishermen the costs of
repairing or replacing damaged or lost fishing gear that occur
in State waters due to either State or Federal oil and gas development
and related activities.
Revenue to support the Local Fishermen's Contingency Fund comes
from four offshore oil and gas projects: the former Gaviota Marine
Terminal and the Point Pedernales, Point Arguello, and Santa Ynez
Unit oil and gas production projects.
Only commercial fishers who operate in the Santa Barbara Channel
or Santa Maria Basin and have lost or damaged fishing gear as a
result of oil and gas development may submit a claim for reimbursement.
Claimants must prove that they are active commercial fishers and
have made all reasonable efforts to collect compensation from oil
operators responsible for lost or damaged gear. Lost or damaged
gear covered by insurance is not eligible for reimbursement from
the Local Fishermen's Contingency Fund; nor is lost or damaged gear
due to negligence or fault of the commercial fisher.
For further information, please consult the following links or
contact Mr. Craig Fusaro or Ms.
Kathy Pfeifer (email@example.com), (805) 568-2507.