Economics

The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries

Anon. The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries. The World Bank; 2017. Available from: http://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/book/10.1596/978-1-4648-0919-4
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Report

The primary objective of this study is to reinforce the messages of the 2009 publication and to catalyze calls for accelerating and scaling up the international effort aimed at addressing the global fisheries crisis. The analysis reveals economic losses of about $83 billion in 2012, compared with the optimal global maximum economic yield equilibrium.

These sunken billions represent the potential annual benefits that could accrue to the sector following both major reform of fisheries governance and a period of years during which fish stocks would be allowed to recover to a higher, more sustainable, and more productive level. These stocks cannot be recovered immediately, even if ideal sector governance were somehow imposed overnight. Rather, the process of recovery implies large transition costs and long-term sector restructuring. 

The cost and feasibility of marine coastal restoration

Bayraktarov E, Saunders MI, Abdullah S, Mills M, Beher J, Possingham HP, Mumby PJ, Lovelock CE. The cost and feasibility of marine coastal restoration. Ecological Applications [Internet]. 2016 ;26(4):1055 - 1074. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/15-1077/abstract
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Land-use change in the coastal zone has led to worldwide degradation of marine coastal ecosystems and a loss of the goods and services they provide. Restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed and is critical for habitats where natural recovery is hindered. Uncertainties about restoration cost and feasibility can impede decisions on whether, what, how, where, and how much to restore. Here, we perform a synthesis of 235 studies with 954 observations from restoration or rehabilitation projects of coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves, saltmarshes, and oyster reefs worldwide, and evaluate cost, survival of restored organisms, project duration, area, and techniques applied. Findings showed that while the median and average reported costs for restoration of one hectare of marine coastal habitat were around US$80 000 (2010) and US$1 600 000 (2010), respectively, the real total costs (median) are likely to be two to four times higher. Coral reefs and seagrass were among the most expensive ecosystems to restore. Mangrove restoration projects were typically the largest and the least expensive per hectare. Most marine coastal restoration projects were conducted in Australia, Europe, and USA, while total restoration costs were significantly (up to 30 times) cheaper in countries with developing economies. Community- or volunteer-based marine restoration projects usually have lower costs. Median survival of restored marine and coastal organisms, often assessed only within the first one to two years after restoration, was highest for saltmarshes (64.8%) and coral reefs (64.5%) and lowest for seagrass (38.0%). However, success rates reported in the scientific literature could be biased towards publishing successes rather than failures. The majority of restoration projects were short-lived and seldom reported monitoring costs. Restoration success depended primarily on the ecosystem, site selection, and techniques applied rather than on money spent. We need enhanced investment in both improving restoration practices and large-scale restoration.

Revisiting the social cost of carbon

Nordhaus WD. Revisiting the social cost of carbon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2017 :201609244. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/01/30/1609244114.abstract.html?etoc
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a central concept for understanding and implementing climate change policies. This term represents the economic cost caused by an additional ton of carbon dioxide emissions or its equivalent. The present study presents updated estimates based on a revised DICE model (Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy). The study estimates that the SCC is $31 per ton of CO2 in 2010 US$ for the current period (2015). For the central case, the real SCC grows at 3% per year over the period to 2050. The paper also compares the estimates with those from other sources.

Understanding the distribution of economic benefits from improving coastal and marine ecosystems

Pakalniete K, Aigars J, Czajkowski M, Strake S, Zawojska E, Hanley N. Understanding the distribution of economic benefits from improving coastal and marine ecosystems. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. 2017 ;584-585:29 - 40. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969717301080
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The ecological status of coastal and marine waterbodies world-wide is threatened by multiple stressors, including nutrient inputs from various sources and increasing occurrences of invasive alien species. These stressors impact the environmental quality of the Baltic Sea. Each Baltic Sea country contributes to the stressors and, at the same time, is affected by their negative impacts on water quality. Knowledge about benefits from improvements in coastal and marine waters is key to assessing public support for policies aimed at achieving such changes. We propose a new approach to account for variability in benefits related to differences in socio-demographics of respondents, by using a structural model of discrete choice. Our method allows to incorporate a wide range of socio-demographics as explanatory variables in conditional multinomial logit models without the risk of collinearity; the model is estimated jointly and hence more statistically efficient than the alternative, typically used approaches. We apply this new technique to a study of the preferences of Latvian citizens towards improvements of the coastal and marine environment quality. We find that overall, Latvians are willing to pay for reducing losses of biodiversity, for improving water quality for recreation by reduced eutrophication, and for reducing new occurrences of invasive alien species. However a significant group within the sample seems not to value environmental improvements in the Baltic Sea, and, thus, is unwilling to support costly measures for achieving such improvements. The structural model of discrete choice reveals substantial heterogeneity among Latvians towards changes in the quality of coastal and marine waters of Latvia.

Incorporating economics into fisheries management frameworks in Australia

Emery TJ, Gardner C, Hartmann K, Cartwright I. Incorporating economics into fisheries management frameworks in Australia. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;77:136 - 143. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16305000
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A large gap has been identified between the current and optimal economic performance of wild-capture commercial fisheries in Australia. Economic approaches have the potential to assist fisheries to bridge this gap, such as bio-economic models that combine biology with fishing costs to evaluate the economic performance of a broad range of management measures. Economic objectives are prevalent in overarching Australian fisheries legislation, however economic data is often not collected and economic analyses or instruments not broadly applied. This paper reviews selected Australian fisheries to demonstrate the accrued economic benefits from applying formal bio-economic models and conducting empirical analyses of the impact of supply on product value. Challenges to the implementation and continued use of economic analyses and instruments are discussed including: (i) short-term transition costs and associated trade-offs between ecological, economic, social and political objectives; (ii) scarce logistical and financial capacity to collect and analyse economic data; (iii) a lack of desire among industry to change and transition to economic targets such as maximum economic yield (MEY), particularly when it is associated with lower catches; and (iv) a lack of economic literacy among fisheries managers and industry. It is contended that many of these challenges initially arise from an absence of clearly identified and prioritised objectives within overarching legislation and management plans. Once objectives are prioritised, limited resources can be allocated more efficiently to improve data collection, economic analysis and increase awareness as well as education of managers and industry.

Dynamically linking economic models to ecological condition for coastal zone management: Application to sustainable tourism planning

Dvarskas A. Dynamically linking economic models to ecological condition for coastal zone management: Application to sustainable tourism planning. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2017 ;188:163 - 172. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479716309872
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

While the development of the tourism industry can bring economic benefits to an area, it is important to consider the long-run impact of the industry on a given location. Particularly when the tourism industry relies upon a certain ecological state, those weighing different development options need to consider the long-run impacts of increased tourist numbers upon measures of ecological condition. This paper presents one approach for linking a model of recreational visitor behavior with an ecological model that estimates the impact of the increased visitors upon the environment. Two simulations were run for the model using initial parameters available from survey data and water quality data for beach locations in Croatia. Results suggest that the resilience of a given tourist location to the changes brought by increasing tourism numbers is important in determining its long-run sustainability. Further work should investigate additional model components, including the tourism industry, refinement of the relationships assumed by the model, and application of the proposed model in additional areas.

How feasible is coastal management? A social benefit analysis of a coastal destination in SW Spain

Alves B, Ballester R, Rigall-I-Torrent R, Ferreira Ó, Benavente J. How feasible is coastal management? A social benefit analysis of a coastal destination in SW Spain. Tourism Management [Internet]. 2017 ;60:188 - 200. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517716302503
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Very few assessments of the beach recreational experience value have been made in Spain. This is both surprising and discouraging considering the importance of sun-and-sand tourism to the country. The present study applies the Travel Cost Method (TCM) to assess the non-market user value of three Atlantic beaches in southern Spain. The results reveal that there are statistically significant differences in visitor type by season and by beach. Calculations show that the socioeconomic benefits generated by one hectare of any of the studied beaches during the high season are one order of magnitude greater than the average annual amount of capital invested in coastal management projects and actions. It is apparent that expenditure on management strategies for the beaches of Cadiz is justified. Policy-makers should recognise that the consumer surplus is an important component of economic value because it represents a measure of social benefits rather than on-site expenditures alone.

Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

Cavanagh RD, Broszeit S, Pilling GM, Grant SM, Murphy EJ, Austen MC. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences [Internet]. 2016 ;283(1844):20161635. Available from: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1844/20161635?ct
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions.

Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change

Teh LSL, Cheung WWL, U. Sumaila R. Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change. Regional Environmental Change [Internet]. 2016 . Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-016-1081-5
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is a critical need to develop effective strategies for the long-term sustainability of Canada’s oceans. However, this is challenged by uncertainty over future impacts of global environmental and socioeconomic change on marine ecosystems, and how coastal communities will respond to these changes. Scenario analysis can address this uncertainty by exploring alternative futures for Canadian oceans under different pathways of climate change, economic development, social and policy changes. However, there has, to date, been no scenario analysis of Canada’s future ocean sustainability at a national scale. To facilitate this process, we review whether the literature on existing scenarios of Canada’s fisheries and marine ecosystems provides an integrative, social-ecological perspective about potential future conditions. Overall, there is sufficient national-level oceanographic data and application of ecosystem, biophysical, and socioeconomic models to generate projections of future ocean and socioeconomic trends in Canada. However, we find that the majority of marine-related scenario analyses in Canada focus on climate scenarios and the associated oceanographic and ecological changes. There is a gap in the incorporation of social, economic, and governance drivers in scenarios, as well as a lack of scenarios which consider the economic and social impact of future change. Moreover, available marine scenario studies mostly do not cover all three Canadian oceans simultaneously. To address these gaps, we propose to develop national-level scenarios using a matrix framework following the concept of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, which would allow a social-ecological examination of Canada’s oceans in terms of the state of future uncertainties.

Connections or conflict? A social and economic analysis of the interconnections between the professional fishing industry, recreational fishing and marine tourism in coastal communities in NSW, Australia

Voyer M, Barclay K, McIlgorm A, Mazur N. Connections or conflict? A social and economic analysis of the interconnections between the professional fishing industry, recreational fishing and marine tourism in coastal communities in NSW, Australia. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2017 ;76:114 - 121. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X16306376
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Resource conflict is a common feature of coastal management. This conflict is often managed by using spatial planning tools to segregate uses, with access decisions made through a comparison of the economic costs and benefits of the competing sectors. These comparisons rarely include an in-depth analysis of the extent or nature of the conflict. One commonly experienced form of resource conflict in coastal communities involves professional fishing, recreational fishing and broader coastal tourism. In New South Wales, Australia the professional fishing industry is often seen as being in conflict with recreational fishing and tourism, and there are frequent calls to close areas to professional fishing, arguing that this will provide improved economic benefits to local communities. This research examined the relationships between the three sectors using economic valuations, qualitative interviews and a large-scale representative questionnaire of the general public. The results revealed highly interconnected and mutually supportive relationships, with professional fishing providing a range of services that benefit both tourism and recreational fishing. These results suggest that spatial management exercises that seek to segregate or remove one sector from an area, may be counterproductive to the interests of all these groups. Relying on economic valuations of each sector as if they stand alone is insufficient to adequately understand their roles in local communities. Resource allocation decisions should be based on evaluations that consider the interconnections between sectors, and consider whether negotiated sharing of resources may provide greater community benefits than excluding certain groups of users.

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