An assessment of seafood processing plants and seafood dealers, live-bait boats and dealers, marinas, commercial fishing, for-hire charter, and recreational boating fleets was undertaken in Mississippi to determine the level of damage sustained as a result of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The devastation by these hurricanes has created an urgent and compelling need to complete damage assessments in the affected areas in as short a period as possible. Congress will be developing damage assistance programs for the Gulf region in the near future.
An accurate assessment of the damage created by these storms is needed to ensure that federal funds are both adequate and allocated to the appropriate sectors and recipients. The assessment, to the extent possible, identified all facilities and boats in the affected areas that existed prior to the hurricanes, identified original physical characteristics (number of buildings, boats, and facilities, types and quantity of equipment) and production levels for these operations, and provided an estimate of the cost of rebuilding or repairing the facilities structure and equipment to their pre-hurricane state so that harvesting and processing of seafood products can resume.
The assessment of the impacts of this natural catastrophic event on the state commercial and recreational fisheries and charter boat industries covered the following instate boats/vessels and facilities (net of double-counting due to multiple licenses in some boats and plants):
- Commercial seafood processors (69) and dealers (141)
- Commercial fishing fleet (1,030)
- Live bait dealers (30), marinas (37), and for-hire charter boats (100)
- Recreational boats (coastal MS - 57,221)
Data were collected from surveys mailed to all the boats/vessels and facilities (items 1-3) and a sample of the recreational boats (item 4) in the three coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson. Complimentary personal interviews and site visits of facilities were conducted by personnel of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources-Office of Marine Fisheries and the Mississippi State University-Coastal Research and Extension Center.
Posadas, Benedict C. 2010. Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina on Coastal Mississippi Charter Boats for Hire, Marinas and Live Bait Dealers. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Bulletin 1185, Mississippi State, Mississippi.
Posadas, Benedict C. 2008. Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi Commercial Fishing Fleet. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Bulletin 1165, Mississippi State, Mississippi.
Posadas, Benedict C., Ruth A. Posadas, and William S. Perret. 2008. Estimating Economic Damages to Mississippi Commercial and Recreational Fishing Industries From Hurricane Katrina. In pages 131-144 Katherine McLaughlin (ed). Mitigating Impacts of Natural Hazards of Fishery Ecosystems. American Fisheries Society Symposium 64, Bethesda, Maryland.
Posadas, Benedict C. 2007. Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi Seafood Processing Plants and Dealers. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Information Bulletin 435, Mississippi State, Mississippi.
Posadas, Benedict C. And Ruth A. Posadas. 2006. Assessment of the Impacts of Katrina on Mississippi Commercial and Recreational Fisheries. Proceedings of the 13th Biennial International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade's Conference. Portsmouth, United Kingdom.