Bryan E. Cumbie

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Oral History


NOAA's Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Oral History documents the experience of people living in Gulf  of Mexico  oil-spill-affected fishing communities. The oral history data complements other social and economic data about the spill collected by NOAA and other governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Date of Interview

Carol Short
Stephanie Scull-DeArmey
Linda VanZandt

Principal Investigator

Bryan E. Cumbie is a commercial fisherman from Bayou LaBatre, Alabama. Cumbie began his fishing career in 1996, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Billy Johnson, who taught him the trade. He has been involved in commercial fishing since the 1970s and has spent most of his life in Bayou LaBatre. Cumbie's experience in the fishing industry spans several decades, and he has witnessed the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster on the Gulf Coast fisheries. 

Scope and Content Note
The interview with Bryan E. Cumbie provides a firsthand account of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster's impact on the Gulf Coast fisheries. Cumbie discusses his personal and professional experiences as a commercial fisherman, detailing his entry into the industry and the influence of his uncle, Billy Johnson. The interview delves into Cumbie's observations of the oil spill's initial news, the subsequent changes in fishing practices, and the environmental effects on the Gulf Coast. Additionally, Cumbie shares insights into the regulatory and economic challenges faced by fishermen in the aftermath of the disaster. The interview captures Cumbie's perspectives on the spill's magnitude, the response efforts, and the long-term implications for the fishing industry and the environment. This oral history provides valuable insights into the lived experiences of a Gulf Coast fisherman during a pivotal environmental event.

Subjects: shrimping, changes in shrimping, TEDs, fish excluder devices, permits, imported shrimp, marketing shrimp, Southern Shrimp Alliance, Alabama Seafood Association, farm-raised shrimp, deckhands, Vietnamese fisherfolks, fuel costs, Hurricane Katrina, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil disaster, seafood business after the oil spill, BP Vessels of Opportunity program, booms to stop oil spreading, NOAA, Seafood Safety Sampling Project, health of shrimp fishery circa 2011, sea turtles, sea birds, pollution in marine environments, open-access fishery in US.

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The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

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