Restoring the economy

Our Gulf Coast economic recovery efforts have focused on paying all legitimate claims stemming from the spill and supporting two of the region’s most vital industries – tourism and seafood
Marsh located in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana Shrimp fishing in Bay Jimmy, Louisiana

BP has supported economic recovery efforts in local communities through a variety of actions and programmes. By 31 December 2014, BP had spent $13.4 billion on economic recovery, including claims, advances, settlements and other payments such as state tourism grants and funding for state-led seafood testing and marketing.

Promoting Gulf Coast tourism

We have provided support for regional and national tourism campaigns for the Gulf states. Although opinions differ on the stage of Gulf recovery, many areas continue to experience strong numbers in tourism spend and revenue per available room.

Tourism comparison, 2009 vs 20141

Florida Panhandle Average revenue per available room ↑ 41%
Alabama Gulf Coast counties Average revenue per available room ↑ 26%
Mississippi coastal counties Average revenue per available room ↓ -1%
Louisiana Orleans Parish Average revenue per available room ↑ 64%

1 Figures from January - November 2014 compared to the same period in 2009.

BP provided $179 million to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi in total for regional and national tourism campaigns. In addition, another $57 million is being provided to non-profit groups and government entities across the Gulf Coast to promote the tourism and seafood industries. This is part of the settlement agreement reached between BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

Seafood industry recovery

The Gulf seafood industry is an important component of the Gulf Coast economy. BP has supported the industry by providing Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi with $25.3 million for seafood testing programmes, and $48.5 million to develop programmes to promote Gulf seafood. According to government testing results and commercial landings information, Gulf seafood is safe to consume and available in numbers comparable to pre-accident levels.

Seafood testing

Gulf seafood is among the most rigorously tested sources of seafood on the market today. Since May 2010, levels of residues of oil contamination in seafood have consistently tested 100 to 1,000 times lower than the safety thresholds established by the FDA. Using a new chemical test to detect traces of dispersant constituents in fish tissue, NOAA and the FDA found every sample tested to be far below the safety threshold established by the FDA. More than 99% of the samples tested for dispersant compounds showed no detectable residue.

The test results, which are publicly available, show no evidence of contamination from oil or dispersants that would pose a threat to human health. 

Commercial fishing

Data from NOAA show that post-spill fish populations in the Gulf are robust, and that commercial seafood landings have generally been consistent with pre-spill ranges.

Volume of commercial landings * (AL, LA, MS, FL Gulf)

Volume of commercial landings

*Landings represent the portion of the catch that fishermen brought ashore

Volume of Gulf Menhaden landings (AL, LA, MS, FL Gulf)

Volume of Gulf Menhaden landings


The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2014 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.