Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Well Blowout on the Economics of U.S. Gulf Fisheries

U. R. Sumaila, A. Cisneros-Montemayor, A. Dyck, L. Huang, W. Cheung, J. Jacquet, K. Kleisner, V. Lam, A. McCrea-Strub, W. Swartz, R. Watson, D. Zeller, D. Pauly, (2012). Canadian Journal Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69, 499-510.

Marine oil spills usually harm organisms at two interfaces, near the water surface and on shore. However, due to 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 blow out and oil spill on commercial and recreational fishing, as well as mariculture (marine aquaculture) in the U.S. Gulf area, by computing potential losses throughout the fish value chain. We find that the spill could, in the next seven years, result in (midpoint) present value losses of total revenues, total profits, wages, and economic impact of US$3.7, $1.9, $1.2, and $8.7 billion, respectively. Commercial and recreational fisheries would likely suffer most losses, with an estimated US$1.6 and US$1.9 billion of total revenue loss, US$0.8 and 1.1 billion in total profit, and US$4.9 and US$3.5 billion of total economic impact for commercial and recreational fisheries, respectively.