Florida Residents Still Angry Over Oil Spill

PANAMA CITY (2010-4-20) -

A year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, residents of the Florida panhandle are still angry – at BP, at the government, and at what they say are misperceptions about the safety of Gulf seafood.

WUSF’s Steve Newborn spoke with charter fishermen at a marina in St. Andrews, and he said they’re upset.

“Let me tell you, there’s a lot of anger out there. It’s not just BP, it’s the economy, it’s the perception that it’s not safe to eat the fish,” he said.

One fishing boat charter captain is talking about selling three of four boats.

“He’s not getting any new people because of the perception out there the Gulf is still not clean,” Newborn said.

Governor Rick Scott is visiting the panhandle this week, and Newborn says residents seem “grateful Governor is recognizing their plight.”

The message: the seafood is safe, the beaches are clean.

Scott ate lunch at a Panama City seafood restaurant. Later, the restaurant owner said he’s barely keeping his head above water, and is still battling perceptions seafood not safe to eat. He hopes to be back at pre-spill levels by summer.

As for Scott’s decision not to join a federal lawsuit against Transocean, Newborn said some residents are worried the state won’t receive full compensation, while others just “want something now.”

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