This manual aims to enhance policymakers’ understanding of the standardised methodology for the valuation and accounting of island ecosystem services, taking into consideration the unique environmental, socio-economic and capacity issues relevant to SIDS.
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the current state of the art of the economics and socio-economics of ocean renewable energy (ORE); the many ways in which the viability and impacts of an ORE project are assessed, and an analysis of the current weaknesses, issues or inappropriateness of the metrics and methodologies used in their definition and presentation. The outcomes of this paper are anticipated to benefit the ORE and wider renewable sector as a whole. The review revealed that, for the most part, the current study of economics and socio-economics of ORE remain separate and discrete areas of research. The economic methods utilised appear to be comprehensive but are limited to project (or private investor) level. The methods identified for socioeconomic assessment fall between traditional, and now routine, environmental assessment approaches and more novel holistic approaches such as ecosystem services and life cycle assessment. The novel section of the paper explored the connectivity between the economics and socio-economics of ORE in relation to project developments and policy/planning. A visualisation method was created of concentric rings intersected by related axis of economic, socio-economic and environment, and enabled the examination of the benefits arising from the connectivity between the two spheres. The concept of sustainable development process and the integration of environmental assessment for ORE was also explored and how it responds to differing stakeholder aspirations and interpretations. The analysis revealed that there was a divergence between public and private economic and socioeconomic assessments for ORE: environmental assessment is primarily a public responsibility but with significant inputs from the private developer involved while economic assessments are conducted primarily by the developer and/or investor at their own behest. However, the two spheres of economic and socio-economic for ORE are highly connected and synergistic and must be examined in a holistic manner.
Conventionally flood mapping typically includes only a static water level (e.g. peak of a storm tide) in coastal flood inundation events. Additional factors become increasingly important when increased water-level thresholds are met during the combination of a storm tide and increased mean sea level. This research incorporates factors such as wave overtopping and river flow in a range of flood inundation scenarios of future sea-level projections for a UK case study of Fleetwood, northwest England. With increasing mean sea level it is shown that wave overtopping and river forcing have an important bearing on the cost of coastal flood events. The method presented converts inundation maps into monetary cost. This research demonstrates that under scenarios of joint extreme surge-wave-river events the cost of flooding can be increased by up to a factor of 8 compared with an increase in extent of up to a factor of 3 relative to “surge alone” event. This is due to different areas being exposed to different flood hazards and areas with common hazard where flood waters combine non-linearly. This shows that relying simply on flood extent and volume can under-predict the actual economic impact felt by a coastal community. Additionally, the scenario inundation depths have been presented as “brick course” maps, which represent a new way of interpreting flood maps. This is primarily aimed at stakeholders to increase levels of engagement within the coastal community.
Overfishing of large predatory fish populations has resulted in lasting restructurings of entire marine food webs worldwide, with serious socio-economic consequences. Fortunately, some degraded ecosystems show signs of recovery. A key challenge for ecosystem management is to anticipate the degree to which recovery is possible. By applying a statistical food-web model, using the Baltic Sea as a case study, we show that under current temperature and salinity conditions, complete recovery of this heavily altered ecosystem will be impossible. Instead, the ecosystem regenerates towards a new ecological baseline. This new baseline is characterized by lower and more variable biomass of cod, the commercially most important fish stock in the Baltic Sea, even under very low exploitation pressure. Furthermore, a socio-economic assessment shows that this signal is amplified at the level of societal costs, owing to increased uncertainty in biomass and reduced consumer surplus. Specifically, the combined economic losses amount to approximately 120 million € per year, which equals half of today's maximum economic yield for the Baltic cod fishery. Our analyses suggest that shifts in ecological and economic baselines can lead to higher economic uncertainty and costs for exploited ecosystems, in particular, under climate change.
This paper presents the results of a study to monitor the socioeconomic impacts of the first extended closure of the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) bigeye tuna (bigeye) fishery to US longliners from the state of Hawai‘i. We applied qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine how diverse members of Hawai‘i's bigeye fishery community, including fishermen, a large fish auction, dealers, processors, retailers, consumers, and support industries, perceived and were affected by the constraints of the 40-day closure of the WCPO bigeye fishery at the end of 2010. Our analysis found that there was reduced supply and reduced quality of bigeye landed along with increased prices for bigeye during the closure period. In addition, Hawai‘i longliners were forced to travel longer distances to fish during the closure. These factors contributed to increased stress and in some cases lost revenue for a variety of individuals and businesses connected to the fishery. We also found that different stakeholder groups responded to the closure in different ways and fish dealers were among those most affected by the closure. However, overall impacts to the bigeye community were not as severe as what had been anticipated at the outset. Several mitigating factors meant this was not a true closure, as US boats could continue to fish for bigeye in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and foreign and dual permitted vessels could still fish in the WCPO. Hawai‘i's longline fleet has since benefited from US legislation and federal rules that have prevented any subsequent closures of the fishery. While this relief from closures could stall short term socioeconomic impacts to Hawai‘i bigeye community, some worry that it could set back global efforts towards sustainable management of the fishery. This study highlights the challenges and equity considerations inherent in efforts to achieve meaningful conservation benefits from localized management actions within a global fishery. It also demonstrates the importance of interdisciplinary socioeconomic monitoring to examine how global fisheries policies scale down to individual fishing communities.
This paper presents a coupled economic–ecological model that integrates a catchment model with a marine model and incorporates economic data to analyse the long-term economic and ecological consequences of nutrient abatement in the Baltic Sea. The spatially explicit model describes dynamics of soil phosphorus in arable land, developments of nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton biomass in the sea basins, and inter-annual variation in nutrient loads and biophysical processes. The performance of the model is demonstrated by computing the least-cost solution to reach the good environmental state of the sea – as implied by the Baltic Sea Action Plan – within a time span of 40 years. The total cost of achieving this target is 1487 M€ annually. Spatially optimal allocation of load reductions differs from the load reduction targets of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, and focuses more on the control of phosphorus loads.
The designation of marine protected areas (MPAs) may have intense social and economic effects on human communities. Driven by overarching global and European policies and national legislations, current systematic conservation planning in the UK and France requires an ecosystem approach that takes into account not only nature but also the human activities that take place in an area. Here, we identified a set of 64 socioeconomic variables potentially relevant for marine and coastal stakeholders in a European context and a comprehensive set of 20 marine and coastal stakeholder categories. Ninety national organisations in the UK and France belonging to those categories and potentially affected by/interested in the designation of multiple-use MPAs were identified and surveyed. Results show that environmental NGOs, research centres, local councils, managing agencies and statutory nature conservation bodies perceived that they are positively affected by these MPAs, whereas fishers’ organisations, shipping and aggregate industrial organisations and recreational organisations perceived to be chiefly negatively affected by MPAs. On average, the ecological effects of multiple-use MPAs are perceived as ‘largely positive’, though 30% of respondents did not perceive any positive ecological effects from these MPAs. The social, economic and cultural effects of such MPAs are perceived as ‘moderately positive’. Most respondents perceived broad range (>10 km) and permanent ecological, social, economic and cultural effects from multiple-use MPA designation suggesting high societal expectations towards these areas. However, only five variables were perceived to vary in intensity after the designation of multiple-use MPAs: ‘research’, ‘environmental performance by citizens, businesses and towns’, ‘number of green businesses’, ‘tourism’ and ‘economic activities’. The most important ‘social’ variables for stakeholder organisations referred to local populations’ engagement with the MPA, tourism and research. The most important ‘economic’ variables were linked to fishing, shipping and aquaculture activities. These variables highlight relevant topics to be considered in MPA planning, designation and management processes, especially in the UK and France. There were statistically significant differences in the ratings of socioeconomic variables between many organisations belonging to the same intuitive stakeholder categories, suggesting the importance of including as wide a range of stakeholder organisations as feasible in MPA socioeconomic-related processes. Our methods and findings can help to inform and streamline ongoing and future participatory MPA planning, management and monitoring processes in Europe and in other regions with similar socioeconomic characteristics.
Value achieved from time spent at sea is a central driver of fishing decisions and fishing behaviors. Value per unit effort (VPUE) is an important indicator of economic performance in itself and a useful metric within integrated mixed fisheries models. A time series of Irish first sale prices and total per trip landings values (VPT) highlight heterogeneity in fish prices and VPTs achieved by the Irish fleet spatially and temporally, as well as variability with species targeting. This investigation compared models to standardize fishing trip VPUE accounting for species targeting (métier groupings), engine power (a kW proxy for vessel size), seasonal and annual variability, fishing effort, and individual vessels (encompassing variability in vessel characteristics and skipper effects). Linear mixed effects models incorporating random vessel effects and within-group variance between métier groupings performed best at describing the variability in the dataset. All investigated factors were important in explaining variability, and thus important in standardizing VPUE. Models incorporating fishing days (days with reported fishing activity) and engine power as separate variables resulted in improved AIC values. Therefore, fishing days were considered to be the most appropriate effort measure to generate VPUE. The effort unit traditionally applied in measures of per unit effort, fishing hours, performed comparatively poorly in relation to VPT.
We conducted a socioeconomic assessment of the commercial weathervane scallop (Patinopecten caurinus) fishery off Alaska. The research was structured within the framework of an SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, a strategy commonly used to analyze the internal (strengths, weaknesses) and external (opportunities, threats) components of an industry. Specifically, we focused on five categories: social, technological, economic, environmental, and regulatory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 participants who had detailed knowledge of the fishery, including industry members, fishery managers, biologists, and members of coastal communities who interact with the fishery. We addressed topics such as attitudes of the Alaskan public towards scallop dredging, impacts of the scallop industry on Alaskan coastal communities, market influences of U.S. east coast and imported scallops, changes in the management of the fishery, and a number of environmental considerations. Several unifying opinions emerged from this study, including a lack of awareness of the fishery in many Alaskan communities and fears about rising fuel costs and diminishing harvest levels. Whereas the data-poor status of the stock appears to be the fishery's biggest weakness, the greatest strengths come in the form of conservative management, industry self-regulation, and the small footprint of the fishery. Impending threats include stock decline, unknown long-term detrimental effects of dredging, and changes in the management and structure of the fishery with the sunset of the State of Alaska's limited entry permit program. Most participants consider the fishery to be managed sustainably, although lack of data on scallop recruitment and abundance is a large concern. This analysis provides relevant information to both fishery managers and scallop industry members to contribute to the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of the scallop fishery.
The benefits of Washington’s outdoor recreation industry go beyond supporting jobs to include creating a way of life. It is estimated that Washingtonians, on average, spend 56 days a year recreating outdoors. According to the recreation surveys and public land records used in this study, there were a total of about 446 million participant days a year spent on outdoor recreation in Washington, resulting in $21.6 billion dollars in annual expenditures.
Expenditures were highest for recreation associated with public waters. Water recreation includes a number of activities with high trip and equipment expenditures, especially motorized boating. Ranking second were special events such as sports tournaments and races, which generally involve fees and attract overnight stays. Ranking third was recreation on private lands, which includes expensive recreation activities such as golf, skiing, and off-highway vehicle riding and hunting, which often occur on private timberland. Local parks are the most common place for people to visit as well as the most accessible and least costly destination.