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Impact of the Deepwater Horizon well blowout on the economics of US Gulf fisheries

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Abstract:

Marine oil spills usually harm organisms at two interfaces: near the water surface and on shore. However, because of the depth of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout, deeper parts of the Gulf of Mexico are likely impacted. We estimate the potential negative economic effects of this blowout and oil spill on commercial and recreational fishing, as well as mariculture (marine aquaculture) in the US Gulf area, by computing potential losses throughout the fish value chain. We find that the spill could, in the next 7 years, result in (midpoint) present value losses of total revenues, total profits, wages, and economic impact of US$3.7, US$1.9, US$1.2, and US$8.7 billion, respectively. Commercial and recreational fisheries would likely suffer the most losses, with a respective estimated US$1.6 and US$1.9 billion of total revenue losses, US$0.8 and US$1.1 billion in total profit losses, and US$4.9 and US$3.5 billion of total economic losses.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/f2011-171

Affiliations: 1: Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. 2: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.

Publication date: March 17, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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