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Quantifying and Comparing Fisher Decision-making Strategies Before and After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Public Deposited

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  • The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is characterized by fishery resources which spatially and temporally overlap in different ways with several important non-fishing uses including oil and gas production, shipping, tourism, habitat for endangered species, and economic support for coastal communities. Given this overlap, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill affected fishing activity and led to unintended consequences to the fishery. Vessels that target reef fish endured large scale spatial closures of oil contaminated waters to protect human health, public mistrust in GOM seafood quality, and in some cases, repurposing of their vessel to assist with clean-up efforts. Understanding the spatial distribution of fishing activity is important for assessment and management because data provided by fishing vessels are used in assessments to infer fish population abundance. When, where, and how a commercial vessel fishes determines the temporal and spatial placement of the data they are mandated to report. This study quantifies how the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill may have affected daily fishing vessel decisions about participation, site choice, and trip termination using discrete choice models. Preliminary results thus far suggest that after the oil spill, fishers altered some of the factors they consider when making site choice and participation decisions, including windspeed, fish price, and fuel price.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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