Project Duration: October 10, 2008 to September 30, 2009
An assessment of seafood processors, dealers, marinas and livebait dealers is currently ongoing in Coastal Mississippi to determine the level of economic losses sustained as a result of Hurricane Gustav. The devastation by this hurricane has created an urgent and compelling need to complete damage assessments in the affected areas in as short a period as possible. The overall goal of this project is to assess the economic damages associated with Hurricane Gustav to the seafood processors, dealers, marinas and livebait dealers in Coastal Mississippi.
The lists of resident seafood processors, dealers, marinas, and livebait dealers were retrieved from licenses issued by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. Marine establishments with multiple licenses were counted only once to eliminate double counting of the sample size of the survey.
Three different mail surveys were conducted for the three groups of marine establishments included in the assessment. The first group consisted of 33 seafood processors and 109 seafood dealers, the second group included 13 livebait dealers and the third group had 20 marinas. A letter explaining the economic assessment and a different questionnaire for each of the three groups were mailed to 175 licensed resident marine establishments in October 2008. A follow-up mail with another letter and questionnaire was sent to those who did not respond during the first round of mails in January 2009.
As of March 2009, 49 marine establishments or 28 percent of the total population of 175 marine establishments responded to the surveys. The participating marine establishments consisted of 34 seafood dealers and processors, seven live bait dealers, and eight marinas. Pictorial surveys of the marine establishments located in the three counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson were conducted to generate GPS coordinates, take digital pictures at their current locations, and determine current operational status of marine establishments included in the survey.