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Effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico

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Title:Effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico
Authors:Chitnis, Jay
Contributors:Edwards, Margo (advisor)
Oceanography (department)
Global Environmental Science (department)
Keywords:oil spill
aquatic pollution
Date Issued:2016
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Place of Publication:Honolulu
Abstract:On April 20, 2010 the wellhead of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH), an
offshore oilrig operated by British Petroleum (BP) in the Gulf of Mexico
(GoM), exploded causing 4.9 million barrels (roughly 780,000 cubic meters) of
oil to leak into the surrounding waters before finally being sealed in
September of the same year. The spill, centered at 28.7°N, 88.4°W, affected
fisheries throughout the northern GoM. While there is no direct evidence of a
decrease in commercial fish populations, several of the collected species
showed injuries related to oil spills, such as lesions and rotting fins. I used
Automatic Identification System (AIS) data from the exactEarth database to
document fishing practices in the northern GoM during the first quarter of
2016. I used a geospatial approach to compare fishing vessel behaviors in
the present with baseline data from before the DWH spill to see if there has
been a noticeable change in the location of high volume fishing in the GoM.
What I found is that for the blue crab and white shrimp fisheries there hasn’t
been a noticeable long-term change, while the royal red shrimp, gulf
menhaden, brown shrimp, and red snapper fisheries still seem to be feeling
the effects of the oil spill.
Pages/Duration:20 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder:Chitnis, Jay
Appears in Collections: Global Environmental Science Theses

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