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Fake fishermen snatching BP jobs

As is the case in almost every disaster, some people are trying to take advantage of the misfortune of others.

NBC station WJHG of Panama City, Fla., reports widespread complaints that recreational fishermen are trying to get into BP's Vessels of Opportunity program ahead of out-of-work commercial fishermen with legitimate claims.

Florida officials report a surge of people applying for new saltwater fishing licenses, which BP requires for anyone entering into the program that pays captains to help make up for the business they've loss because of the spill.

"These are attorneys, doctors who have their boats in the program" illegitimately, says Bob Zales, president of the National Association of Charterboat Operators.


Henry Cabbage, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, confirms that if someone applying for the program doesn't make most of his or her money from commercial fishing, "they aren't eligible."

He says BP is working to make sure those who aren't eligible are weeded out.