An Analysis of the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon on the Seafood Industry

On April 20, 2010 a blowout occurred on the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) rig, causing an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil to leak into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill resulted in coastal fishery closures between May and December of 2010, causing direct impacts to the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry. The objectives of this study were (1) to improve understanding of the varied impacts of the DWH oil spill on the individuals and firms that comprise the Gulf’s seafood industry, (2) to improve understanding of the structure of the Gulf’s seafood industry and how this structure may have been altered as a result of the DWH oil spill, and (3) to provide information that will be used to improve the nation’s response to future oil spills as it relates to the Gulf’s seafood industry. The findings from this study can be used to bookend impacts that have occurred in the short term, and could be the basis of studies that attempt to further define impacts.

Keywords: Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, West Florida, Seafood, Industry, Deepwater Horizon, Oil Spill, Economic, Impacts, Damages

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