The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (2011) reported that on “April 20, 2010, the Macondo well blew out, costing the lives of 11 men and beginning a catastrophe that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill disrupted an entire region’s economy, damaged fisheries, and critical habitats, and brought vividly to light the risks of deepwater drilling for oil and gas—the latest frontier in the national energy supply.”

The damages to the Gulf of Mexico States (GOM) natural resources due to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico or Deepwater Horizon oil spill (GOMOS) took some time to clean up, and the restoration period to get the resources back to their original pre-GOMOS status is still indefinite. Several restoration projects in affected states are underway (http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/). In the meantime, the production and consumption of goods and services by economic sectors located in the GOM states are adversely affected, leading to a possible reduction in the levels of economic activity, tax revenues, and employment and personal income.

The closures of significant portions of GOM federal and state waters to commercial and saltwater recreational fishing, as well as the closures of beach resources to human uses, due to the GOMOS altered the recreation and consumption decisions of residents and tourists in affected communities. The changes in market perceptions and flow of goods and services generated by the damaged natural resources affected not only households but also communities dependent on these natural resources.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 led to closures of significant portions of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) federal and state waters to commercial and recreational fishing and closures of beach resources to human uses. These closures altered the seafood consumption and production decisions of residents and tourists in affected communities. The negative perceptions associated with the oil spill regarding the safety of consuming seafood products from the GOM states has further eroded the region’s share of the domestic seafood markets.

A survey of the direct economic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the business operations of participating Mississippi seafood and commercial and saltwater recreational fishing establishments was conducted in 2012. These impacts were measured in terms of the “changes in business operations in 2010 due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill” in total annual sales, number of workers employed, length of shutdown period and number of claims for financial losses filed and received by participating seafood and marine-related establishments.

The 331 Mississippi marine businesses that participated in the survey contributed between 25% and 65% of the total annual gross sales or total employment in marine economic sectors included in the impact assessment. Oil spill-related closures of state and federal waters adversely impacted the overall business operations of participating establishments, which were shut down, on average, by about 4.21 months. The direct economic impacts of the oil spill on these businesses resulted in a decline in 2010 of almost 50% of the annual total sales and 33% of the total employment as compared with 2009.

Read more at http://gomos.msstate.edu/index.html

Source:**Posadas, B.C. 2015. Economic Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Mississippi Seafood, and Commercial and Recreational Fishing Sectors. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Bulletin 1218, Mississippi State, Mississippi.