Assessing the Economic Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Selected IndustriesThe Economics subteam is assessing the economic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf Coastal communities, particularly effects on fishing, seafood processing, and tourism industries. Using publicly available, routinely collected data on landings, revenues, and fishing effort for select fish species, researchers are examining overall impact of the DWH oil spill as well as changes that occurred over time.
Selected Findings: What Were the Direct Impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill on the Commercial Blue Crab Fishery?
- We compared changes in Gulf landings following the spill to changes in Atlantic landings, and found that the spill resulted in a 75-85% decrease in landings in the months immediately following the spill, followed by a relatively swift recovery. While there is some evidence of potential longer-term impacts, we cannot estimate these effects precisely. Because of the potential for substitution between Gulf and Atlantic crab, these results represent an upper bound on the true impact.
- We also compared landings in Louisiana crabbing basins that were more versus less affected by the spill, and found a 50% drop in crabbing trips in basins that were more affected following the spill, but little impact on landings, likely because the spill and the resulting closures changed the relationship between effort (trips) and landings.
- Overall, our findings suggest that the Deepwater spill did result in substantial, short-term losses to the blue crab fishery, but that the fishery also exhibited a high degree of resilience and recovered quickly as soon as the closures were ended.
Louisiana commercial blue crab landings and crabbing tripsAnnual commercial blue crab landings and crabbing trips in Louisiana basins defined as treatment and control, as discussed in the text. Authors’ calculations based on data provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The vertical line in each figure indicates the Deepwater Horizon spill in April 2010.
CRGC team members Dr. Craig Bond, Dr. Shanthi Nataraj, and Ms. Jacqueline Fiore just published preliminary results on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s impact on the Gulf fisheries industry. This paper reports results from an ex-post analysis of the spill using publicly available, routinely collected data on landings, revenues, and fishing effort for select fish species in the Gulf. The research team’s methods examine the overall impact of the oil spill as well as changes that occurred over time. Learn more »
Shipbuilders in AL and LA Expand Operations to Deliver New Fleet of Passenger Ferries for New York City
Horizon Shipbuilders, based out of Bayou La Batre, AL, and Metal Shark, a boatbuilder located in Franklin, LA, are rapidly working to build boats for an ambitious citywide ferry service that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to begin next summer. Horizon and Metal Shark are working on a tight schedule to build the 19 vessels needed for Mayor de Blasio’s $325-million citywide ferry service, timed to begin as he seeks re-election for office next November. This new ferry service would be the most extensive of its kind in any American city.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) features the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC) as it’s cover story in its Summer 2016 Newsletter. Learn more »
GoMRI recently awarded Tim Slack, a member of CRGC’s LSU team, a grant to continue impact assessments of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on families and their children. This research is a follow on from the National Center for Disaster Preparedness’ 2010 survey of households in highly-affected Louisiana areas to track the health and social impacts of the spill as well as the subsequent studies in 2014, which revealed that physical and mental distress resulting from the spill still persisted, with over 15% of respondents reporting no perceived recovery of their household or community.
With team members spread across not only the Gulf States region, but also the entire U.S., CRGC recently held an “all-hands” meeting in Alabama to bring together its research staff, students, advisors, and community partners. The group also had the opportunity to tour local businesses in Bayou La Batre, AL.
A new stakeholder advisory committee will provide CRGC researchers with diverse perspectives on the environmental, public health, social, economic, legal, and cultural landscapes of Bayou La Batre, AL, and will provide feedback and make recommendations about the existing and planned activities of the CRGC.
RAND’s Craig Bond and LSU’s Stephen Barnes presented findings from their evaluation of the economic effects of coastal land loss at the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation meeting in New Orleans on December 2, 2015. Their new report, Economic Evaluation of Land Loss in Louisiana, is intended to guide coastal management decisions in the Gulf States region.
The Center for Natural Resource Economics & Policy is holding its 5th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems in New Orleans March 20-22, 2016. This triennial forum focuses on the opportunities and challenges of socioeconomic research and extension in the development and evaluation of coastal resource restoration and management.