The closures of significant portions of Gulf federal and state waters to commercial and recreational fishing and closures of beach resources to human uses due to Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April 2010 altered the recreation and consumption decisions of residents and tourists in affected communities. Survey results in Mississippi showed that charter boats businesses were shut-down for about 5.37 months in 2010. As a result, the charter boats for-hire businesses lost more than one-half of total sales in 2010. Commercial fishing businesses were shut-down for about 6.01 months in 2010. These fishing establishments reported less than two-thirds loss in annual total sales in 2010. Eating and drinking places were shut-down for less than a week in 2010. These eating and drinking places stated that they lost more than one-fourth of annual total sales in 2010. The live bait and marina firms were shut-down for 2.37 months in 2010. As a result, the live bait and marina businesses suffered a reduction in annual total sales by more than one-half in 2010.

In order to understand the magnitude of the economic impacts of the natural and technological disasters during the past decade to the recreational and commercial fishing sectors, multi-year baseline economic information about each sector in all five Gulf states are currently being compiled from various secondary sources. These long-term baseline secondary data will be used to determine the duration of the economic impacts of the disasters. Econometric analysis of these data will be conducted to determine the rate of economic recovery and measure the economic damages to these affected economic sectors. It is suggested that these assessments be conducted on a region-wide basis, state by state, and species by species.


Illustrative examples on how the time series-data were used in determining the economic recovery paths of the commercial and recreational fishing sectors are shown below.  Using secondary annual data, economic recovery models were developed incorporating the direct economic impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the Mississippi commercial landing values. The annual Mississippi commercial landing values published by NOAA Fisheries adjusted for inflation are shown by the bars labeled as “actual”. The economic recovery path of the annual commercial landing values without the Gulf oil spill is indicated by the line labeled “nospill”. The vertical distances between the “actual” bars and the “nospill” line indicate the annual direct economic impacts of the technological disaster to the Mississippi commercial fishing sector starting in 2010. The suggested economic recovery path implies that it might take more than two years for Mississippi annual commercial landing values to the pre-oil spill trend.  

Posadas, Ben. Mississippi recreational and commercial fishing sectors: A decade after Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. News/Blog, Aug. 21, 2015.
Posadas, Benedict C. 2015. Economic Recovery of Recreational and Commercial Fishing Sectors from Natural and Technological DisastersMississippi Alabama Sea Grant Extension Program, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.