ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Six years ago, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster forced the federal government to close off vast tracts of the Gulf of Mexico to fishing, some commercial fisherman weighed anchor and tried their luck elsewhere. Others quit fishing to work for BP on the cleanup.
But exactly how many did which, and what impact that had on their finances, has never been gauged.
Now, thanks to a $1 million grant, marine scientists from the University of South Florida, the University of Miami and University of California will try to figure that out. They will examine data that they expect will help them understand how the oil spill affected fishermen economically.
The researchers hope to learn how many tried a new fishing area and how many worked on the cleanup, and which paid better.