Getting Hot in Mississippi: Fishermen advocates confront Gov. Barbour

This message comes from Delores Suarez, a citizen advocate working with fishermen on the Gulf Coast. In her message she refers to: Dr. William (Bill)  Walker, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Mark Stewart, Mississippi fisherman, Richard Gollott, Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources commissioner for the commercial seafood industry, and Linda St. Martin, former Shrimp boat owner working with the Sierra Club.

"Hi every one, Tuesday was very busy here in Mississippi. Local fishermen and myself attended 3 meetings across the coast.  

The first was DMR (Mississippi Department of Marine Resources) Seafood Commission. (Click here for Sun Herald coverage). Highlights: Dr. Bill Walker (caught in a lie) admitted that Mark Stewart called him on Aug 11 to send someone to see what was found in Pass Christian water. He also said Richard Gollott was to represent commercial fishermen on Gov Barbor's panel. Richard Gollott admitted (after some debate) that the only fishermen he has ever represented were the fleet that works for him and that he does not care what will happen in 20 years because he will be dead. The statements that he made show that he only looks out for his personal interests and should disqualify him from holding any position on any community based board or panel.  


And to paint every one who spoke with the same broad brush and discredit them he questioned what group I represented, where I was from and said I just wanted to keep getting "BP's money." I informed him I was born and raised in Biloxi,MS and I did not work for BP and have never received any money from them.


Then we went to the meeting for the "Governor's Panel." Where we, with the help of feisty Linda St. Martin, were able to get a commercial fisherman appointed to the panel (click here to see the WLOX video).  The fishermen and others voiced their opinions and caught the attention of panel members some of which approached us with questions after the meeting and I told the governor's assistant about Mr Gollott's views and requested his immediate removal from both committees. (We will see how that goes.)


Then we ended our day at the Asian Americans for Change meeting where we heard from scientist Dr Cake about his findings on the Aug 11th boat trip and several other speakers on subjects such as mental health and the new claims process. It was very nice after a day of turmoil to end it with friends. My thanks to everyone who participated I feel like we made a difference." 


Best wishes to all,

Delores Suarez