Hurricane Katrina to cost Louisiana fisheries $1.1 billion
Louisiana Department and Wildlife and Fisheries release
September 13, 2005
The Louisiana Department and Wildlife and Fisheries’ preliminary estimates indicate a potential $1.1 billion loss in retail fisheries revenue over the next year and an additional $150 million loss in oyster revenue in the second year due to Hurricane Katrina damage.
That number would represent a 40 percent loss to the total value of the state’s commercial and recreational retail harvest values based on 2003 sales levels of $2.85 billion.
Estimates assume that the hurricane’s impact is limited to the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and lower Lafourche. The estimates are based on available historical data using previous losses sustained after hurricanes and recent retail sales totals for prior years.
“These projections are subject to adjustment as air and water surveys are made over the next several months,” said John Roussel, assistant secretary for LDWF’s Office of Fisheries.
For oysters, the department used studies of resource mortality caused by hurricanes Ivan and Andrew to estimate mortality of existing resources. The initial estimate is a 99 percent loss of oyster resources in the area from Bayou Lafourche east to the Mississippi state line. The retail sales losses for the oyster industry, based on recent departmental surveys of public oyster grounds, reflect a two-year projected shortfall of $296 million when compared to the productivity of recent years.
Potential retail sales losses for the state’s other primary commercial fishing industries (over the next 12 months) include: shrimp, $539 million; crab, $81 million; saltwater fish, $79 million; menhaden, $93 million; and freshwater fish, $1.2 million.
Additionally, recreational fisheries losses over the next year could total almost $200 million at the retail level. Approximately 63 percent of the 515 licensed charter and guide vessels were registered in the severely affected parishes.
Loss of infrastructure supporting the fisheries industry and long term impacts to fisheries habitat are more difficult to quantify. Infrastructure losses are characterized as lost or damaged vessels, docks, ice plants and processing facilities, but also include roads and bridges, truck traffic, cold storage facilities, boat ramps, launches, marinas and bait and tackle shops. No estimates are currently available for the percentage of infrastructure lost in the storm or long term changes to important coastal fisheries habitat.
This is a modified press release from the Louisiana Department and Wildlife and Fisheries. This original can be found here