Impact of the deepwater horizon well blowout on the economics of US gulf fisheries

U. Rashid Sumaila, Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor, Andrew Dyck, Ling Huang, William Cheung, Jennifer Jacquet, Kristin Kleisner, Vicky Lam, Ashley Mccrea-Strub, Wilf Swartz, Reg Watson, Dirk Zeller, Daniel Pauly

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)499-510
    Number of pages12
    JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Aquatic Science


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