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Oil spill docks local fishermen
PORT BOLIVAR-By: Leslie Rangel
Ferry traffic has resumed between Bolivar and Galveston, the ship channel is partially open and the Coast Guard says the channel is clear of oil.
About 170,000 gallons spilled into Galveston Bay when a barge hit a ship on Saturday, the cleanup will take some time.
On Port Bolivar, fishermen tired of waiting, and losing money.
Boats roped to docks fishermen sitting around and empty nets are not what you'd expect to see at Milt's Seafood Plant in Port Bolivar.
It's quiet on this shrimp boat, while the worker waits, he shows us around.
The St. Martin has been docked for three days, fishermen waiting to hit the waters.
"When I stay on the land I get no money, nobody don't pay me, it's my job," Samhir, one of the fishermen workers says.
Thirty years ago he came from Cambodia to find a better life.
"I use money, I pay for my bills my food, my eat, you know," Samhir said.
Now that better life, has come to a halt.
"What can I say, I'm sad, I don't know how I'm talking right now," Samhir says.
On a normal day, the docks would be empty, but that's not the case because the Coast Guard won't let them out on the Gulf.
"If we knew it was going to be a week, a month, that would be better than not knowing," J.T English, a commercial fisherman says.
They wait for better times wondering why they haven't been asked to help.
"In the B.P. they used a lot of boats went ahead just to help from Texas," English says.
He says cleaning up the oil would make up for income melting away on the docks.
"Some of these boats have $30,000 worth of fuel on them and 1200 pounds of ice," English said.
The question remains when the does the waiting game end.
"No one knows when that answer will come," English says.
It is unclear if the oil spill will impact marine life.
Fishermen tell us, every trip could bring them up to half a million dollars in revenue, meaning ever day is lost money.