Study: 2020-21 hurricanes caused $579 million of damage to LA fishing industry

Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida, which swept through Louisiana during various points in 2020 and 2021, resulted in an estimated $579 million in losses to the state’s fisheries infrastructure, revenues, and biological resources, according to a study by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LSU and Louisiana Sea Grant.

The study’s findings analyzes monetized losses to fisheries infrastructure (including vessels), sales or gross revenue, and resources losses to fish and oysters. The study also projects financial losses that are continuing into 2022.

Parishes included in the study include Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Vermilion.

The following is a breakdown of the categories of losses caused by the hurricanes’ destructive winds, rains, and flooding.

The study found that the hurricanes caused $304 million in damages to fisheries infrastructure. Of the damages, hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta in 2020 accounted for 30 percent, and Hurricane Ida in 2021 accounted for 70 percent.

Wind was the primary driver of impact for all four storms, accounting for 85 percent of the damage to vessels, 80 percent for dealers, 80 percent for processors, 89 percent for charters, and 54 percent for marinas.

Revenue losses for 22 coastal parishes totaled $155 million: with $48 million for 2020; $66 million for 2021; and $40 million in carry-over losses expected in 2022.

Resource losses are estimated at $118 million for 2020-2021.

The findings are part of a survey titled: “Projected Infrastructure, Revenue and Resource Losses to Louisiana Fisheries from Hurricanes of 2020 and 2021.” The survey was conducted by LDWF’s Office of Fisheries, the Department of Agricultural Economics in the LSU Agricultural Center, and Louisiana Sea Grant.

To view the entire study, please click on the following link:

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Fishing/Commercial_Fishing/Files/2020-2021-Hurricane-report—-FINAL-01.13.22.pdf

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