As Hurricane Katrina lashed everything above ground, it also caused problems for seafood in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The crop that took the worst hit were oysters, whose annual sales account for hundreds of millions of the enormous Gulf seafood market.

Dr. Rex Caffey, professor of natural resources at the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and LSU Ag Center, said animals recover quickly from natural disasters. What he worries about the most are people whose livelihoods are threatened by massive storms like Katrina and Rita, which pounded the Gulf Coast during the autumn of 2005.

“With the exception of oysters, seafood does OK during hurricanes,” Caffey said. “The sediment can smother an oyster bed and cause short-term losses. Long term, fishermen don’t do well.”

That's because fishermen rely on boats, processing plants and docks that get walloped by the hurricanes, and that leaves livelihoods in danger.

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