Post-Ike Fisheries Damage Surveys due March 6

February 19, 2009

By Cindie Powell

The deadline for commercial fishermen and seafood processors to submit Texas: Estimating the Economic Damages Caused by Hurricane Ike to Texas Sea Grant has been extended to Friday, March 6, 2009.

The surveys should be postmarked by this date to ensure the information can be included in an accurate, defensible, industry-wide estimate of the economic impact of Hurricane Ike on Texas fisheries.

The estimate is needed to justify public works projects such as debris removal, replacement of public bulkheads, docks and piers, and could also be used to lobby for state and federal disaster aid in the most heavily impacted areas, including the Galveston Bay complex and the Sabine Lake area.

“We are measuring two distinct impacts caused by Hurricane Ike in our economic damage estimate,” said Rhonda Cummins of the Texas Sea Grant Extension Program. “The first impact is the total cost of all physical damage a business sustained, including boats and equipment. The second impact estimates the revenue you expect to lose between the time Ike made landfall and until you return to ‘normal operations.’”

Surveys have been distributed to hundreds in the commercial seafood industry. Anyone who has not received a survey but who would like to participate should contact Cummins at 361-552-9747 orrdcummins@ag.tamu.edu. Completed surveys should be mailed to: Rhonda Cummins, Texas Sea Grant Extension, 186 County Road 101, Suite 1, Port Lavaca, TX 77979.
In November, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the state of Texas will be eligible for up to $7 million in disaster aid to restore and rebuild the state's fish habitats and fishing industries that were devastated by Hurricane Ike. These funds can be used to remove storm debris that hinders the fishing industry and to rebuild processing houses, docks, ice houses, and other components of the fishing infrastructure destroyed by the hurricane. 

For more information, contact Cummins at 979-552-9747.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.