Volume 65

Compensation for Anglers from the Deepwater Horizon Spill

Alvarez, S., S. Larkin, T. Haab, and J. Whitehead
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Date: November, 2012

Pages: 276 - 280

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Santa Marta

Country: Colombia


At an estimated 205 million gallons, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) is the largest oil spill in the history of the United States. During nearly three months of active discharge, oil reached the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, resulting in large scale fishery closures. Many recreational anglers who planned visits to the Gulf Coast likely canceled, rescheduled, or changed their trip location to areas not affected. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 allows resource trustees to claim and recover losses on behalf of the public. Recoverable damages include the cost of primary restoration and interim losses that encompass passive and direct use values, such as recreation. Trustees must use funds recovered for restoration activities. In this paper, we use a series of random utility models of site choice by recreational anglers in the Southeast U.S. to estimate monetary compensation measures for losses by anglers due to the DWH spill. The models allow us to estimate different compensation measures for anglers who fish from shore, private boats, and those who fish from charter and party boats. Our most conservative estimates indicate that the total monetary compensation due to anglers is in the range of 540 million dollars.

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