Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Artemio Ramirez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janelle Applequist, Ph.D.


Fishing, Guides, Conservation, Crisis Communication


The 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig was an environmental disaster unparalleled in United States history. Because of this, there has been a great deal of research studies regarding the matter.

The purpose of this study was to determine what inshore fishing guides in the Tampa Bay Area feel should be a response to future oil spills using Image Repair Theory, as well as how this important group of stakeholders felt about the image repair responses employed by BP in the wake of the spill.

In depth interviews were used to gather data and answer the pertinent research questions, which also generated follow up questions. The findings showed Tampa Bay Area captains feel that BP’s responses in the wake of the spill were inadequate in alleviating the situation. The captains felt that better planning on the part of oil companies is needed and also that oil companies should be mortified and have clear and decisive plans for correcting the situation as well as alleviating the effects of said spill on the pertinent publics.