Natural and Manmade Disasters: Continuing Nemesis for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Fishing Communities Pre- and Post-Katrina

Susan Abbott-Jamieson, Palma Ingles
2015 Marine Fisheries Review  
Hurricane Katrina came ashore devastating coastal communities in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As the storm crossed the wetlands south of New Orleans boats were sunk, houses and businesses were destroyed, and lives were drastically changed. Hurricane Katrina happened at a time when the region's fi shing industry was already facing economic hardship. It marked the beginning of a series of major calamities between 2007 and 2012 including three more hurricanes, a major Mississippi River fl ood, a
more » ... jor recession, and the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill that have continued to challenge the fi shing industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The paper begins with a detailed examination of Hurricane Katrina's damage to fi shing infrastructure in fi shing communities in Lou-isiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that were followed for nine months post-Katrina as part of a NMFS-funded social impact assessment (SIA). Next the paper highlights the major natural and manmade disasters that have affected marine fi sheries in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama between 2005-12. The impacts of this series of disasters are examined as they relate to 1) changes in population between 2000-10 in the fi shing communities originally followed in the post-Katrina SIA, 2) changes in numbers of processing plants and processing plant employees between 2003-12, and 3) changes in pounds landed and their value as reported by NMFS for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama during the same period. Although the area as a whole has lost population, some fi shing communities have lost signifi cantly more, particularly
doi:10.7755/mfr.77.3.1 fatcat:i2plne5lazcnpb2tob37f42mwq