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MISSISSIPPI COMMERCIAL OYSTER FISHERY IMPACTS OF THE PROLONGED OPENING OF THE BONNET CARRE SPILLWAY

July 22, 2019

I received several inquiries for estimates of what the commercial fishery impacts of the prolonged and twice opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway since February 2019. The commercial fishery impacts consist of losses of wild and farmed oyster harvests by commercial Mississippi fishers and farmers due to the prolonged freshwater intrusion. One approach to estimate the direct losses of this man-made disaster is by comparing the 2019 and later years’ landings and dockside values to previous years benchmarks.

COMMERCIAL FISHERY IMPACTS

Recent state sampling results indicate that almost all of the oyster resources were totally devastated (~100% mortality). With almost total devastation of the oyster fishery by Hurricane Katrina, it took more than two years for any significant landings to occur after some serious management intervention by state regulatory agency. The expected 2019 landings of oysters will be ZERO, and in 2020, landings will be very insignificant if not ZERO without immediate management intervention.

The commercial oyster fishery impacts consist of losses of wild and farmed oyster harvests by commercial Mississippi fishers and farmers due to the prolonged freshwater intrusion. The chart below shows the monthly CUMULATIVE dockside values of oyster landings in Mississippi in two recent time periods. Using the 2014-16 averages as benchmarks, the cumulative dockside values starting at $580,000 in March and ending at $1,247,000 in December. The average dockside values during the 2012-16 benchmark period start at $356,000 in March and end at $1,376,00 in December.

oyster-impacts
Source of raw data: NOAA Fisheries (2019).

SEAFOOD PROCESSING IMPACTS

The estimates of direct losses mentioned above cover only oyster harvesting. There are other significant post-harvest economic activities. Oyster shucking is a major economic activity in the state. There are also significant wholesale and retail activities of oyster products performed by local seafood dealers and restaurants. The devastation of the oyster fishery will seriously hamper the processing and distribution activities of these seafood establishments. Inclusion of the direct losses to post-harvest economic activities is necessary for the estimation of the economic impacts of the man-made disaster.

TOTAL ECONOMIC IMPACTS

Finally, economic impacts include direct, indirect, and induced effects. The direct losses represent the direct impact of the commercial fisheries affected by the prolonged freshwater intrusion. There are also backward and forward interactions of the commercial harvesting sector with other economic sectors.

Publications and Presentations:

  1. Posadas, B.C. Economic Impacts of Coastal Hazards on Mississippi Commercial Oyster Fishery from 2005 to 2016. Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics. Manuscript no. 1115 in review. 

  2. Posadas, B.C. 2019. Commercial Shrimp Fishery Impacts of the Protracted Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Horticulture and Marine Economics Blog. 

  3. Posadas, B.C. 2019. Commercial Blue Crab Fishery Impacts of the Extended Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Horticulture and Marine Economics Blog.

  4. Posadas, B.C. 2019. Commercial Oyster Fishery Impacts of the Protracted Opening of the Bonnet Carre SpillwaY. Horticulture and Marine Economics Blog. 

  5. Posadas, B.C. Commercial oyster fishing. Mississippi MarketMaker Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 6. July 9, 2019. http://extension.msstate.edu/newsletters/mississippimarketmaker.

  6. Posadas, B. C. (Author & Presenter), (May 2019). "Economic Recovery Paths of Mississippi Oyster Harvesting." Oral presentation. CNREP 2019: 6th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems, Center for Natural Resource Economics & Policy, New Orleans, LA.Scope: International. Refereed: Yes. Invited or accepted: Accepted.

  7. Posadas, B. C. (Author & Presenter), (December 2018). "Economic Recovery Paths of Mississippi Oyster Harvesting." Abstract. CNREP 2019: 6th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems, Center for Natural Resource Economics & Policy, New Orleans, LA.Scope: International. Refereed: Yes. Invited or accepted: Accepted.

  8. Posadas, B. C. (Author & Presenter), (November 2018). "Economic Recovery Paths of the Mississippi Oyster Fishery." Oral Presentation. 2018 Bays & Bayous Symposium, Bays & Bayous Symposium, Mobile, Alabama.Scope: International. Refereed: Yes. Invited or accepted: Accepted.

  9. Posadas, B. C. (Author & Presenter), (November 2018). "Economic Recovery Paths of the Mississippi Oyster Fishery." Abstract. 2018 Bays & Bayous Symposium, Bays & Bayous Symposium, Mobile, Alabama.Scope: International. Refereed: Yes. Invited or accepted: Accepted.

  10. **Posadas, B.C. and B.K.A. Posadas, Jr. 2017. Economic Impacts of the Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi Oyster Fishery.  Mississippi State University Extension Service publication 3038 and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant publication MASGP-11-041. Mississippi State, Mississippi. 

  11. **Posadas, Benedict C. and Benedict Kit A. Posadas, Jr. 2017. Economic Impacts of the Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi Oyster Fishery.  Journal of Food Distribution Research. 48(1).

  12. Posadas, B.C. and B.K.A. . Posadas, Jr. 2016. Economic Impacts of the Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi Oyster Fishery. Oral presentation at the 2016 Food Distribution Research Society Annual Conference. New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, 859 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, Louisiana.

  13. Posadas, B.C. and B.K.A. Posadas, Jr. 2016. Economic Impacts of the Opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi Oyster Fishery. Abstract submitted to the 2016 Food Distribution Research Society Annual Conference. New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, 859 Convention Center Blvd, New Orleans, Louisiana.