While there is considerable international research focused on the conservation outcomes of marine protected areas (MPAs) and marine reserves (MRs) there is little information on the economic cost to establish and manage these protected areas. This study estimated the MR pre-establishment and establishment costs for the Taputeranga Marine Reserve (TMR) in New Zealand (NZ) and determined the annual management costs for this reserve and four further NZ MRs. Finally, the cost to local rock lobster fishers resulting from the displaced fishing effort once the TMR had been established was estimated. This research found that the TMR pre-establishment cost was approximately NZ$508,000, and the establishment process cost was approximately NZ$353,000. The annual management costs across the five reserves ranged between NZ$43,200 and NZ$112,500 between 2008/09 and 2010/11. The annual fishers displacement cost at TMR was approximately NZ$22,000 per annum. This research showed that on a unit area basis, small MRs in NZ are just as expensive to maintain as large MRs. This study also highlighted how volunteer effort helped to considerably reduce the monetary cost of the MR pre-establishment process. This research increases our understanding of establishment and management costs, and supports future planning of MRs both within NZ and internationally.
The value of the ocean’s riches rivals the size of the world’s leading economies, but its resources are rapidly eroding, according to a report released by WWF today. The report, Reviving the Ocean Economy: The case for action - 2015, analyses the ocean’s role as an economic powerhouse and outlines the threats that are moving it toward collapse.
The value of key ocean assets is conservatively estimated in the report to be at least US$24 trillion. If compared to the world’s top 10 economies, the ocean would rank seventh with an annual value of goods and services of US$2.5 trillion.
The report, produced in association with The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is the most focused review yet of the ocean’s asset base. Reviving the Ocean Economy reveals the sea’s enormous wealth through assessments of goods and services ranging from fisheries to coastal storm protection, but the report also describes an unrelenting assault on ocean resources through over-exploitation, misuse and climate change.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly regarded as socio-ecological systems. In addition to their reported ecological effects, MPAs may have important social, economic and cultural effects on local communities and marine and coastal stakeholders. Those effects should be considered within an ecosystem approach to MPA planning, designation and management. Here we present a new framework to monitor and assess the socioeconomic effects of MPAs saliently and soundly: the Integrated MPA Socio-Economic Assessment (IMPASEA). The IMPASEA considers and analyses those factors deemed most important for marine and coastal stakeholders in a spatially referenced, sound and cost-effective manner. The development of the IMPASEA followed a mixed-methods research design in 3 phases: literature review, stakeholder survey and geo-statistical analysis using a Multiple-Paired-Before-After-Control-Impact design (MPBACI). The framework was tested on a set of 6 multiple-use MPAs on the French side of the English Channel. Of the eight socioeconomic variables analysed at the scale of ‘commune’ in the geo-statistical phase, only one variable (‘number of hotel rooms’) might have been affected by the designation of MPAs. Factors such as MPA designation category and management status are likely to have contributed to the non-significant differences shown at the scale of commune for the selected MPAs. In contrast, most of the six variables related to fishing showed differences between ports inside and outside MPAs, although these results need further ground truthing to discriminate attribution of effects. The characteristics of the IMPASEA make it a sound monitoring and assessment framework that could be applied in different contexts and to different types of sustainability assessments involving protected areas or other spatially-defined entities under certain conditions: existence of consistent time series of fine-scale socioeconomic data and avoidance of overlap of designation categories over single spaces.
Jellyfish outbreaks in the Mediterranean Sea are part of an anthropogenic alteration of the marine ecosystem and have been documented as health hazards and threats to tourism. Their impacts on human welfare have, however, been poorly quantified. A socioeconomic survey, carried out in summer 2013, captures the impacts of an outbreak of Rhopilema nomadica on seaside recreation in Israel. Welfare losses are estimated based on per-visit value and expected change in visits patterns. We estimate that an outbreak reduces the number of seaside visits by 3–10.5%, with an annual monetary loss of €1.8–6.2 million. An additional 41% of the respondents state that their recreational activities on the beach are affected by the outbreak. Through a contingent valuation, we find that 56% of the respondents state a willingness to contribute to a national environmental protection program with an estimated annual benefit of €14.8 million. These figures signal an opportunity to invest in public information systems. A pilot study for adaptation was conducted in Barcelona, whose results confirm the importance of the welfare benefits of real-time public information systems. This study provides a benchmark against which the economic impacts of jellyfish outbreaks on coastal recreation and potential adaptation policies can be evaluated.
This paper reports the results of a choice experiment (CE) that values the ecosystem service benefits from extending the current network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Caribbean. We considered two future options: an ‘improved’ scenario in which marine protection is increased, and a ‘decline’ scenario in which current protection mechanisms are removed. The CE was administered at two sites (the degraded St Vincent South Coast and the pristine Tobago Cays) and to tourists and local residents. Results suggest that both groups value health protection, fishing, coastal protection, ecosystem resilience, and diving/snorkelling. Values are higher for the ‘decline’ scenario compared to the ‘improved’ scenario. Also, tourists had significantly higher WTP values than locals. Our analysis also enabled an evaluation of the benefits derived from alternative policy interventions that may be used to protect and enhance SVG’s marine parks. Stopping pollution from agriculture run-off and sewage was found to generate the highest ecosystem service benefits, with restricting over-fishing and bad fishing practices also being important. We demonstrate how economic valuation of marine ecosystem service might be used to design and target marine conservation policies that maximise welfare benefits.
The Gold Coast beaches are among Australia’s most popular beaches and rank among the world’s best-known beaches. A good understanding of the characteristics of beach users and their recreational use values is of fundamental importance to formulate effective beach management policy. This paper, using the individual travel cost method, estimates the recreational use value of Gold Coast beaches. The value of a single beach visit is estimated to be $19.47 per person. Furthermore, the efficiency of the value transfer method is analysed in this study. To do this, the recreational value of Gold Coast beaches transferred from the relevant studies conducted for other Australian beaches is compared with this study.
A global study to estimate the ecosystem service value of specific coastal ecosystems is developed. Specific variables are identified and used to develop a global multivariate regression function that supports the identification of important drivers of the value of ecosystem service of coastal protection around the world, and the Caribbean is examined in detail. Variables hypothesized to affect the ecosystem service value fall into three categories, and were informed by a meta-analysis of existing economic literature. Site characteristics include ecosystem type and size. Study characteristics include valuation method. Context variables include measures of development, anthropogenic pressures, biodiversity, and population density. Results of the meta-analytic regression show that variables significantly affecting the ecosystem service value included size, level of development, storm frequency, valuation method and gross domestic product per capita. A benefit transfer function is then generated to extrapolate values to other sites around the world where coastal wetlands, mangrove and coral reefs exist. This function is used to derive a global map of the value of a set of coastal ecosystem services worldwide. The Caribbean region is discussed as a case study in this global analysis.
This paper adds to a limited literature eliciting willingness to pay (WTP) for mitigation measures against natural hazards caused by climate change, on coastal and marine environments. Our case study is Santander, a coastal region in Northern Spain. The case-study specific natural hazards concern (a) sea-level rise, high tides and extreme wave events that lead to floods and beach erosion, (b) rise in sea temperature that leads to invasive jellyfish blooms and changes in native biodiversity. In particular, we employ a choice experiment (CE) to elicit the value locals place on improvements, through the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, in biodiversity, recreational opportunities and on decreases in health risks associated with jellyfish blooms. Results suggest that people value positively benefits in terms of increased biodiversity and recreation opportunities, as well as health risk reductions, and point to interesting policy implications.
Although Bermuda has to date managed to achieve equilibrium between tourism and coral reef conservation, this delicate balance may be threatened by the growth and changing face of the tourism industry. This may result in negative impacts on the coral reefs and services provided by this valuable ecosystem. The reef-associated value to Bermuda׳s tourism industry was determined, distinguishing between the added value of cruise and air tourism. Economic valuation techniques used were the travel cost method, the net factor income method, and the contingent valuation method. Results show that coral reef value to tourism in Bermuda provides an average annual benefit of US$406 million. Although, cruise ship tourism has been responsible for more than half of the total number of visitors in Bermuda, cruise ship tourist expenditures directly benefiting the island׳s economy amount to only 9% of air passenger expenditures. Moreover, the producer surplus for air visitors is twofold that of cruise ship passengers. Despite this low added value of cruise ship tourism in Bermuda, there is a strong drive to accommodate the ever-larger ships built by the cruise industry. Several options have been proposed for the upgrading and re-aligning of existing shipping channels to enable safe and smooth passage; these may lead to environmental impacts, which may in turn affect reef-associated tourism revenue to the island. This study recommends the integration of Bermuda׳s coral reef value into Cost Benefit Analyses of proposed channel upgrades compared to the “business as usual” scenario.
Martinique possesses 55 km2 of coral reefs, 50 km2 of sea grass and 20 km2 of mangroves. These three ecosystems produce services to a value estimated at 250 million € (M€)/year (valuation recently undertaken under the French initiative for Coral Reef Conservation—the IFRECOR program). It is estimated that around 60% of this value originates from direct uses such as recreational activities (diving, excursions, beach activities, etc.) tourism and fisheries. Ecosystem services (indirect uses) such as coastal protection, carbon sequestration, biomass production and water purification are significant since their total value reaches 94 M€ annually (38% of the total economic value). Non-use values linked to improvements in health of coastal ecosystems is estimated to be 10 M€/year. At the ecosystem level, sea grass and mangrove contribute the most (per km2) to wealth creation (2.16 M €/km2, 1.87 M €/km2 respectively, against 1.78 M €/km2 for coral reefs). They need, therefore, to benefit from protection and management measures in the same magnitude as coral reefs already receive. The valuation also shows that, due to policy inaction, the loss of value is about 2.5 M €/year, which urges politicians to develop a sound conservation policy.