- The Territory marine and coastal environment is a critical tourism asset generating an estimated 1.7 billion per annum to the NT economy.
- Currently there is a lack of finer scale data on how tourism in the Territory’s marine and coastal environment is evolving.
- The development of the Coastal and Marine Management Strategy in 2017 offers a key opportunity for game-changing new initiatives to stimulate significant growth in nature and culture-based tourism in the Top End.
Economic benefits are derived from sea turtle tourism all over the world. Sea turtles also add value to underwater recreation and convey non-use values. This study examines the non-market value of sea turtles in Tobago. We use a choice experiment to estimate the value of sea turtle encounters to recreational SCUBA divers and the contingent valuation method to estimate the value of sea turtles to international tourists. Results indicate that turtle encounters were the most important dive attribute among those examined. Divers are willing to pay over US$62 per two tank dive for the first turtle encounter. The mean WTP for turtle conservation among international visitors to Tobago was US$31.13 which reflects a significant non-use value associated with actions targeted at keeping sea turtles from going extinct. These results illustrate significant non-use and non-consumptive use value of sea turtles, and highlight the importance of sea turtle conservation efforts in Tobago and throughout the Caribbean region.
Several international agreements and conventions require nations to establish Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks as an approach to alleviating biodiversity declines; however, a common problem in planning MPA networks is how to balance conservation objectives against economic objectives. Here, using the distributions of 102 biodiversity features and 7 extractive uses we trial the systematic conservation planning software Zonation as a decision-support tool to facilitate progress towards New Zealand's commitment to establishing a representative network of MPAs while providing for economic development. Our results indicate that: (i) New Zealand's existing MPAs provide on average 70% less representation of the input biodiversity features than would be achieved by an MPA network of equivalent area designed from the outset using Zonation; (ii) small increases in the geographic extent of existing protection results in rapid increases in representation of the selected biodiversity features when systematic conservation planning software is used to inform expansion of existing protection; and (iii) the impacts on existing resource users of an expanded MPA system can be minimized by using Zonation to identify areas that increase biodiversity representation, while avoiding areas where existing uses may be incompatible with marine protection. These results demonstrate the utility of systematic conservation planning software as a decision-support tool within a broader social process for MPA network design and implementation. The iterative application of tools such as Zonation during participatory processes that balance alternative uses could potentially lead to more informed, efficient and socially enduring outcomes that enhance the ability to establish representative MPA networks.
Understanding the performance of each coastal area as it develops is the primary task of policy-makers in a marine economy; however, quantitative regional differences in China's marine economy have not been empirically examined. This paper offers a methodological contribution by applying a series of techniques, including the variation coefficient, Gini coefficient, and Theil index decomposition, to illustrate the relative differences among coastal areas. Additionally, the coastal areas of China were divided into two categories to reveal the provincial differences and regional disparities in China's marine economy. The results show that although the numerical economic differences in Gross Ocean Product (GOP) among coastal areas have increased significantly during the 21st century, the gaps among coastal regions have gradually decreased. In addition, China's marine economy presents three levels of regional development (developed, medium-developed, and developing). The results of the Theil index decomposition show that the overall difference in China's marine economy is derived mainly from differences within the three macro marine economic regions; these differences account for more than 95% of the overall difference. Furthermore, the underlying reasons for and driving mechanism of regional differences in China's marine economy can be illuminated in terms of differences in natural resource endowments and geographic locations; industrial agglomeration and diffusion; changes in regional development policy; and foreign investment. These findings offer basic data support and policy recommendations for marine economy management at the national and regional levels.
The paper develops and analyses a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents that can be used for assessment of the economic consequences of fish stock-rebuilding policies within the EU. In the model, entry and exit processes for individual plants (vessels) are endogenous, as well as output, employment and wages. This model is applied to a fishery of the Mediterranean Sea. The results provide both individual and aggregate data that can help managers in understanding the economic consequences of rebuilding strategies. In particular, this study shows that, for the application presented, all aggregate results improve if the stock rebuilding strategy is followed, while individual results depend on the indicator selected.
Around the world, governments are establishing Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks to meet their commitments to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. MPAs are often used in an effort to conserve biodiversity and manage fisheries stocks. However, their efficacy and effect on fisheries yields remain unclear. We conducted a case-study on the economic impact of different MPA network design strategies on the Atlantic cod ( Gadus morhua) fisheries in Canada. The open-source R package that we developed to analyze this case study can be customized to conduct similar analyses for other systems. We used a spatially-explicit individual-based model of population growth and dispersal coupled with a fisheries management and harvesting component. We found that MPA networks that both protect the target species’ habitat and were spatially optimized to improve population connectivity had the highest net present value (i.e., were most profitable for the fishing industry). These higher profits were achieved primarily by reducing the distance travelled for fishing and reducing the probability of a moratorium event. These findings add to a growing body of knowledge demonstrating the importance of incorporating population connectivity in the MPA planning process, as well as the ability of this R package to explore ecological and economic consequences of alternative MPA network designs.
Marine ecosystems provide a range of valuable services, some of which come with market prices to quantify value and others for which markets have not set prices. Lacking perfect information, policy makers are at risk of undercounting non-priced values and services, leading to biases in policy decisions in favor of services valued through markets. Furthermore, understanding users’ valuation of specific site attributes, such as marine biodiversity, can contribute to effective policy decisions. This paper presents a non-market valuation of private recreational boaters (PRBs) in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary located in California, USA, using data from an intercept survey conducted in 2006 and 2007. A Random Utility Model is used to estimate PRBs’ daily trip values and the importance of specific site attributes. The average consumer surplus was estimated at $48.62 per trip, with a total non-market value of non-consumptive private recreational boating of $86,325 annually. PRBs show a preference for visiting locations with lower exposure to prevailing winds and greater species richness and abundance, which to the authors’ knowledge is the first time that PRBs have been found to value biological diversity in site choices. Furthermore, this suggests that improved biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems contribute to better recreational experiences. The results from this study reveal the importance of including non-market services and stakeholder's preferences into policy decisions.
The oceans provide food, employment and income for billions of people. We analyzed data from scientific stock assessments, and from a statistical model for other fish stocks, to summarize the past and present status, and the potential catch, abundance and profit for 4713 fish stocks constituting 78% of global fisheries. Three major scenarios of future trends are considered; business as usual (BAU) in which largely unmanaged fisheries move towards bioeconomic equilibrium but where well-managed fisheries maintain their management, maximum sustainable yield (MSY) in which fisheries are managed to maximize yield, and fisheries reform (REF) where the competitive race to fish is eliminated and fisheries are managed to maximize profit. The future prospects differ greatly based on region of the world and product type. This analysis forecasts that yield in major tuna and forage fish species will remain roughly the same as current levels under all three scenarios, while there does appear to be potential for increased yield of whitefish. There is considerable room for increased profit in most of these fisheries from better management. Increased yield will come from rebuilding overexploited stocks, reducing fishing mortality on stocks that are still abundant but fished at high rates, and surprisingly from fishing some stocks harder. Indeed in Europe and North America the primary potential for increased yield comes from fully exploiting stocks that are now lightly exploited. Asia provides the greatest opportunity for increased fish abundance and increased profit by fisheries reform that would lead to reduced fishing pressure.
The goal of food security increasingly serves as an objective and justification for marine conservation in the global south. In the marine conservation literature this potential link is seldom based upon detailed analysis of the socioeconomic pathways between fish and food security, is often based on limited assumptions about increasing the availability of fish stocks, and downplays the role of trade. Yet, the relationship between fish and food security is multi-faceted and complex, with various local contextual factors that mediate between fish and food security. We use data from interviews and food security assessment methods to examine the relationship between fish and food security among fishing households in San Vicente, Palawan province, Philippines. We highlight the local role of income and trade, emphasising the sale of fish to purchase food not easily accessible for fishers, particularly staples. In particular, we show that because rice is the primary staple of food security for these households, fish must be traded with the intent of buying rice. Trade is therefore central to household food security. We argue that the relationship between fish and food security must be considered in greater depth if marine conservation is to engage with food security as an objective.
The broader ecosystem impacts of fishing continue to present a challenge to scientists and resource managers around the world. Bycatch is of greatest concern for marine mammals, for which fishery bycatch and entanglement is the number one cause of direct mortality. Climate change will only add to the challenge, as marine species and fishing practices adapt to a changing environment, creating a dynamic pattern of overlap between fishing and species (both target and bycatch). Economists suggest policy instruments for reducing bycatch that move away from top-down, command-and-control measures (e.g. effort reduction, time/area closures, gear restrictions, bycatch quotas) towards an approach that creates incentives to reduce bycatch (e.g. transferable bycatch allowances, taxes, and other measures). The advantages of this flexible, incentive-oriented approach are even greater in a changing and increasingly variable environment, as regulatory measures would have to be adapted constantly to keep up with climate change. Unlike the regulatory process, individual operators in the fishery sector can make adjustments to their harvesting practices as soon as the incentives for such changes are apparent and inputs or operations can be modified. This paper explores policy measures that create economic incentives not only to reduce marine mammal bycatch, but also to increase compliance and induce technological advances by fishery operators. Economists also suggest exploration of direct economic incentives as have been used in other conservation programs, such as payments for economic services, in an approach that addresses marine mammal bycatch as part of a larger conservation strategy. Expanding the portfolio of mandatory and potentially, voluntary, measures to include novel approaches will provide a broader array of opportunities for successful stewardship of the marine environment.