The drive to increase renewable electricity production in many parts of Europe has led to an increasing concentration of location of new sites at sea. This results in a range of environmental impacts which should be taken into account in a benefit-cost analysis of such proposal. In this paper, we use choice modelling to investigate the relative gains and losses from siting new windfarms off the coast of Estonia, relative to the option of creating a new marine protected area. Methodologically, the paper makes a contribution by showing the ability of the latent class mixed logit model to represent both within-and between-class preference heterogeneity, and thus its power to provide a more sophisticated representation of preference heterogeneity than latent class or mixed logit approaches. The paper is also the first to use the latent class mixed logit in willingness-to-pay space for environmental goods.
Marine protected areas are aimed to protect and conserve key ecosystems for the provision of a number of ecosystem services that are the basis for numerous economic activities. Among the several services that these areas provide, the capacity of sequestering (capturing and storing) organic carbon is a regulating service, provided mainly by mangroves and seagrasses, that gains importance as alternatives for mitigating global warming become a priority in the international agenda. The objective of this study is to value the services associated with the capture and storage of oceanic carbon, known as Blue Carbon, provided by a new network of marine protected areas in Colombia. We approach the monetary value associated to these services through the simulation of a hypothetical market for oceanic carbon. To do that, we construct a benefit function that considers the capacity of mangroves and seagrasses for capturing and storing blue carbon, and simulate scenarios for the variation of key variables such as the market carbon price, the discount rate, the natural rate of loss of the ecosystems, and the expectations about the post-Kyoto negotiations. The results indicate that the expected benefits associated to carbon capture and storage provided by these ecosystems are substantial but highly dependent on the expectations in terms of the negotiations surrounding the extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the dynamics of the carbon credit’s demand and supply. We also find that the natural loss rate of these ecosystems does not seem to have a significant effect on the annual value of the benefits. This approach constitutes one of the first attempts to value blue carbon as one of the services provided by conservation.
The evaluation of the environmental impact of aquaculture installations is nowadays a common social demand in many countries. The usual scientific approach to this question has been to assess the outcome from an ecological perspective, focussing on the effects produced on benthos or the water column and interactions with marine flora and fauna. In this paper, a bioeconomic model is developed to extend this traditional approach, to determine both the amount of total settled matter, its dispersion on the ocean floor and impacts on the marine ecosystem, while also taking into account other social considerations such as discounted net profits and investment returns. The model was applied to the case of off-shore gilthead seabream production in a coastal area of the Canary Isles archipelago, where the tidal current is predominant. Cage emissions and the degree of degradation of seagrass meadows on the seabed were taken as ecological impact indicators, while the net present value (NPV) for a specific time period was used as an economic indicator. By analysing the simulation results obtained by the bioeconomic model, we were able to determine the combination of production volume and harvest quantity which yields the greatest economic efficiency for different levels of degraded area.
An integrated fisheries management tool based on a bio-economic model was applied to the small pelagics (sardine) fishery in central Algeria (Mediterranean Sea). The basic bio-economic conditions of the fishery were established and relevant biological and economic indicators were analysed under different management scenarios defined by changes on fleet capacity and daily fishing time. The results show that the fishery is subject to high fishing pressure (1,548 units in 1990 and 4,445 units in 2007) (Maouel 2003, Medrous2013) and current government policies aiming to increase fishing capacity (1,493 new unit sare projected for 2025) (MPRH 2008) would likely worsen the conservation status of the resource, without contributing toa significant volume of catches or economic profits. Instead, a reduction of daily fishing time would allow decreasing the fishing mortality, without significantly reducing the total production or profits of the fishery to the current fleet. However, the short-term loss faced by the industry is a major constraint towards the acceptability of this type of management measures by the fishing sector.
Coastal habitats provide a variety of benefits for citizens living in littoral countries. The economic value of changes in coastal habitats in the context of the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, targeting good ecological status by 2021, in two coastal sites was estimated using the choice experiment method. The selected aspects of marine ecosystem were described in conjunction with ecological changes modeled within the Finnish–Swedish archipelago and the Lithuanian coast. The benefits for Finns, Swedes, and Lithuanians for changes in the adjacent coastal site were estimated with the conditional logit and random parameters logit models accounting for preference heterogeneity. The willingness to pay estimates for healthy perennial vegetation, protection of currently pristine areas, and size of fish stocks differed significantly between populations. The transfer errors ranging from 40%, when transferring the estimates for the same coastal site between populations, to 400%, when transferring between both sites and populations, underline careful consideration in value transfers.
Uncertain drivers of pollution hinder long-term planning of management of aquatic ecosystems. This paper presents a framework for adjusting optimal water protection in the long term when the true trend in nutrient loading is unknown to the decision maker but can be gradually learned by monitoring stochastic nutrient loads. The economic impacts of an unknown trend consist of (i) the damage caused by the worsened state of the sea, (ii) the cost of nutrient abatement to counter the development and (iii) the adjustment costs caused by uncertainty and imperfect learning. An integrated assessment model is designed and calibrated for quantitative results pertaining to the uncertain impacts of climate change on nutrient input to the Baltic Sea. Under certainty, the net economic impacts from the currently anticipated climate change are 15.0 billion euros, of which 23% comes from welfare losses caused by aggravated eutrophication and 77% from increased abatement costs. The expected adjustment costs due to uncertain future development range from 90 million euros in the case of adaptive management based on Bayesian learning to as much as 7960 million euros in the case of an extreme variant of inadaptive management based on constant abatement levels. If adaptive management is adopted, there is no need to account for future climate change when planning the current abatement targets.
The Surfrider Foundation, in partnership with Point 97 and the state of Washington, recently completed the Washington Coastal and Ocean Recreation Study and today released the final report. The study collected economic and spatial data on “non-consumptive” recreational uses such as beach going, kayaking, wildlife viewing, hiking and biking, and surfing. These recreational uses are widely practiced along the extent of Washington’s coast (Pacific Coast & Strait of Juan de Fuca). Information from the study will be used as part of the state’s marine spatial planning process, which is a collaborative endeavor to analyze and allocate the spatial and temporal distribution of human activities in marine environments to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives.
The primary goal of this project was to inform long-term MPA monitoring efforts by summarizing up-to- date information to illustrate historical trends, establish a MPA baseline, and assess initial changes since MPA implementation for the commercial passenger fishing vessel (CPFV) fleet in the South Coast region of California. To do so we utilized CPFV logbooks data from 2000 to 2012 obtained under a non- disclosure agreement with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This study is a part of the baseline marine protected area monitoring effort to characterize the ecological and socioeconomic conditions and changes within the South Coast Region since MPA implementation. As part of the baseline marine protected area monitoring effort, this report provides two sets of primary findings:
A baseline characterization of the spatial fishing patterns and economic status of commercial passenger fishing vessel fleet in the South Coast region; and
An assessment of historical economic trends and initial economic changes in the commercial passenger fishing vessel fleet following MPA implementation.
This study is a part of a larger baseline marine protected areas monitoring effort, entitled the South Coast MPA Baseline Program, tasked with characterizing the ecological and socioeconomic conditions and changes within the South Coast region since MPA implementation. To investigate coastal recreation patterns in the South Coast region, we utilized a standing internet panel hosted by Knowledge Networks (KN) designed to be demographically representative and surveyed 4,492 individuals in select South Coast region counties. The data collected established a baseline characterization of coastal visitation and recreation statistics and a spatial baseline of coastal recreation use patterns in the region.
The primary goal of this project was to inform long-term marine protected area (MPA) monitoring efforts by gathering up-to-date socioeconomic information to illustrate historical trends, establish a post MPA baseline, and assess initial changes since MPA implementation for the commercial fishing fleet in the South Coast region of California. To accomplish this goal our research team conducted extensive community outreach and engagement in the region and conducted in-person interviews with 114 commercial fishermen to gather post MPA baseline socioeconomic data and spatial fishing data for the year 2012. In it important to note that the interview data gathered is self-reported data and thus as with all self-reported data may be subject to recall error or under/over-reporting. Additional to the interview data gathered, we summarized commercial fishing landings data from 1992 to 2012 obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to explore historical economic trends and initial changes in South Coast commercial fisheries.
This study is a part of the baseline marine protected area monitoring effort to characterize the ecological and socioeconomic conditions and changes within the South Coast region since MPA implementation. As part of the baseline MPA monitoring effort, this report provides three sets of primary findings:
A baseline characterization of spatial fishing patterns and socioeconomic status of commercial fishermen in the South Coast region;
An assessment of initial spatial and economic changes following MPA implementation; and
A qualitative investigation into the impact of MPAs on commercial fishermen and the specific MPAs impacting commercial fisheries at the port and region scale.