Economic Recovery of Mississippi Commercial and Recreational Fishing Sectors

Results of the damage assessment survey (DAS) conducted after Hurricane Katrina showed massive devastation of the Mississippi (MS) commercial and recreational fishing fleets. Almost one-half of the 1,030 resident commercial fishing boats and vessels operating in MS participated in the DAS. Of the 100 charter boats-for-hire operating in MS, 42 operators participated in the DAS.


The decision to remain or leave the industry - commercial or recreational fishing - was very crucial to these participating boats or vessels.

  • 87% of participating commercial boats or vessels reported damages associated with Hurricane Katrina (HK).
  • 69% of the participating charter boats-for-hire reported damages associated with HK.

An economic recovery model was developed using the survey data after Hurricane Katrina and databases on licenses issued by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). From these databases, the decision to remain or leave the industry made by the participating boats and vessels was determined.

The overall goal of this project is to assess the economic recovery of the commercial and recreational fishing industries (CRFI) in Coastal Mississippi.

The specific objectives are as follows:

To determine the aggregate level of economic participation in each of the following sectors of CRFI in Coastal Mississippi: seafood processors and dealers, commercial fishing fleet, commercial and municipal marinas, and livebait boats and dealers,

To measure the level of economic activities and the economic impact of CRFI on the regional economy of Coastal Mississippi,

To determine the socio-economic factors enhancing or limiting the levels of economic participation and new investments of CRFI in the regional economy of Coastal Mississippi, and

To conduct educational programs to educate the public about the state of economic recovery of CRFI in Coastal Mississippi.