Vietnamese shrimpers hit hard by oil spill, language barriers

The World

Over the past thirty years, the Gulf coast has become home to many Vietnamese Shrimpers. But the Gulf oil spill has put their livelihood in jeopardy.

All fishermen in the Gulf have been suffering, but the Vietnamese shrimpers have been particularly hard hit. Because many of them don’t speak English, they’ve been unable to find other work — or even to understand the papers BP has asked them to sign.

Thoai Tong joins us from Buras, Louisiana. He was a shrimper himself, but since the spill he’s been working as a translator between BP officials and the Vietnamese shrimpers in his community. Some are calling him “the moses of this community” for all of his work.

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