Nick Collins

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

Nick Collins, born in 1971 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman primarily involved in oystering. His family's business, the Collins Oyster Company, has a longstanding reputation along the Gulf Coast and nationwide. Collins' expertise in oystering has been passed down through generations, shaping his deep understanding of the industry. 

Scope and Content Note
The interview with Nick Collins, conducted on April 26, 2012, provides a firsthand account of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster's impact on Gulf Coast fisheries. The conversation delves into Collins' experiences as a commercial fisherman, particularly focusing on oystering. The interview covers topics such as the marketing of seafood, the financial implications of the oil spill, and the challenges faced by fishermen in the aftermath of the disaster. Collins shares insights into the historical significance of his family's oyster business and the relationships built within the industry. Additionally, the interview captures Collins' perspectives on the cleanup efforts, financial compensation, and the uncertain future of the seafood industry in the wake of the oil spill. His candid reflections provide a valuable resource for understanding the personal, economic, and environmental ramifications of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster on Gulf Coast fisheries.

Subjects: oysters, oystering, multigenerational fishing family, BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, dredging, culling, oyster farming, sustainability issues, public oyster grounds in Louisiana, species in Louisiana's wetlands, regulations, gillnets, bycatch, equipment, oyster shells, oyster reefs, reseeding oyster reefs, oyster reefs as marine-life nurseries, oyster cultch, oyster spat, marketing oysters, prices, testing oysters for food safety, leasing of oyster grounds, changes in wetlands, saltwater intrusion in wetlands, marsh as marine-life nursery, Hurricane Katrina, opening of spillway, death of most of Louisiana's oysters, Corexit dispersant, media coverage, mitigation of oil disaster, Vessels of Opportunity, sea turtles, lost-income claims against BP, uncertain future of oyster business, unknown long-term effects of Corexit and oil on bottom of sea, questionable safety of deepwater drilling, losses from BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

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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.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.