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Murrow Awards, Best feature, Challenges for Alabama's seafood industry ten years after the BP spill

Credit APR's Pat Duggins
Seafood packer Dominic Ficarino, still losing business 10 years after the BP spill

Please find enclosed Alabama Public Radio’s entry for the Edward R. Murrow Award for best radio feature, titled “Challenges for Alabama's seafood industry ten years after the BP oil spill.”

Click here to listen to the story.


“Public perception is never going to change, we see that,” says Dominic Ficarino.

APR first met the owner of Dominic’s Shrimp Packing Company ten years ago following the BP spill. We caught up with him in 2020, and found he’s still dealing with seafood shoppers who won’t buy Gulf shrimp because of the spill ten years later.

(Shoppers say) “I hear ‘he’s from the Gulf, oh—I wouldn’t touch those.’ You know. And that’s something that’s never gonna go away…never,” recalls Ficarino.

The 2010 disaster cost coastal businesses $700 million dollars and 3,000 jobs. Ten years later, the region is still recovering and some speculate some of the scars may never heal. The Alabama Public Radio news team spent four months, investigating the aftereffects of the spill by revisiting the people we interviewed ten years ago as the event unfolded. This feature is part of an Alabama Public Radio initiative to address the “news desert” conditions along the Gulf coast following the spill, and the demise of the Mobile Press Register newspaper. APR recruited print journalists and trained them to produce radio stories for the underserved news audience along the coast.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Duggins, News Director

Alabama Public Radio