Mississippi recreational and commercial fishing sectors: A decade after Hurricane Katrina

By: Benedict C. Posadas / Published: Aug 27,  2015

It has been a decade since Hurricane Katrina devastated the coastal areas in the Northern Gulf of Mexico states in August 2005. Results of surveys conducted after the hurricane showed that Hurricane Katrina caused approximately $2.2 million in total damages to the resident Mississippi charter boat fleet. The estimated value of damages to Mississippi municipal and commercial marinas located in the three coastal counties reached $41.38 million. The estimated value of total damages to live bait dealers in Coastal Mississippi reached $4.17 million. The total estimated damages to the resident Mississippi commercial fishing fleet exceeded $35 million.

Almost one‐half of the 1,030 resident commercial fishing boats and vessels operating in Mississippi participated in the damage assessment survey in 2005. About 87 percent of the participating commercial boats or vessels reported damages associated with Hurricane Katrina. The commercial fishing businesses also reported that they would lose 72.3 percent of their markets for seafood products as a result of the hurricane. Using secondary annual data, economic recovery models were developed incorporating the direct economic impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the Mississippi commercial landing values. The annual Mississippi commercial landing values adjusted for inflation are shown by the bars labeled as “actual”. The bars show marked reductions in landing values after Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 

Figure 1. Deflated annual commercial landing values of all species in Mississippi and predicted landing values without Hurricane Katrina.  The economic recovery path shown by the line marked “nokatrina” plots the annual predicted commercial landing values without Hurricane Katrina (Figure 1). The vertical distances between the “actual” bars and the “nokatrina” line show the annual direct economic impacts of the natural disaster to the Mississippi commercial fishing sector in 2005 and 2006. The economic recovery path suggests that it took at least two years for Mississippi annual commercial landings to return to the pre-Katrina trend. Click here to read the full article. 


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