This paper highlights the tension between advocacy for ‘Blue growth’ in maritime policy and efforts to safeguard future economic growth via the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. In 2015, policy-makers withdrew three of four proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the Irish Sea from consideration for designation, due to concerns that they could significantly impact on the fisheries sector in Northern Ireland because they overlap with prawn fishing grounds in the Irish Sea. Although research has quantified the potential impact upon fishing vessels, none has quantified the impact upon the fisheries sector nor assessed the significance of this impact. Arguably, MCZ designations (or lack thereof) based on the ‘significance’ of an impact require robust underpinning evidence. This paper reports the findings of an Economic Impact Assessment, which has quantified the impact of a decline in landings upon the Northern Ireland fisheries sector and regional economy (data which is currently absent from the evidence base for the MCZ designation process in England). It finds that this will incur job losses in three fishing ports in Northern Ireland, but is unlikely to have a significant impact upon Northern Ireland's fisheries sector and regional economy in terms of jobs and Gross Value Added (GVA). In the worst case, the resulting economic impact is a decrease of £1.05–1.12 m/year GVA in Northern Ireland, which is 1.1% of the contribution of fishing and fish processing to the regional economy. Economic significance assessments, using this methodology, may be useful in supporting the evidence base underpinning MCZ designation and other aspects of marine planning.
The socioeconomic implications of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and perceptions of stakeholders on MPA impacts are important to consider when designing, implementing, and managing MPAs. However, the currently available knowledge about these areas and especially of stakeholder perceptions is scarce and limited to restricted geographic areas. The present study aims to address this gap by examining these factors in the Mediterranean and Black Seas using an extensive literature review and an online survey approach. We collated and examined a total of 208 published studies on socioeconomic impacts of MPAs and marine uses. We found that for fishing, the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs were generally perceived as negative for industrial fishing and positive for artisanal fishing. In the online survey, we collected ca. 100 responses and found that stakeholder perceptions on the impacts of MPAs differ across sectors and regions. Industrial fishing was perceived as being negatively impacted in the Black Sea, while most respondents from the Mediterranean Sea were neutral in their responses relating industrial fishing and MPAs. The impact of MPAs on artisanal and recreational fishing was generally viewed as neutral by respondents from the Black Sea, whereas most Mediterranean respondents indicated a positive impact of MPAs. We also found that perceptions of the major threats to MPAs differed across the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Responses from the Black Sea were systematically shifted towards a more negative perception of threats to MPAs compared to those from the Mediterranean Sea. Illegal fishing and other illegal activities were considered to be the most relevant threats to MPAs by stakeholders in both regions. The mismatch found between evidence of MPA effectiveness and impacts from the scientific literature and the results of our survey suggests that within the framework of maritime spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, effective MPA planning should be informed by multiple sources across regions.
The aim of this study was to develop a bio-economic model to estimate the feasibility and net profit (or net costs) of achieving set water quality targets (sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus and herbicide load reductions) in the Burnett-Mary region within the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), southern Queensland, Australia. Two sets of targets were evaluated, namely (1) Reef Plan Targets (RPTs) representing currently agreed targets, and (2) the more ambitious Ecologically Relevant Targets (ERTs) designed to halt the decline and improve the condition of the GBR. This paper describes the construction of a bio-economic optimisation framework linking field and catchment scale biophysical model results and farm economic analysis to solve for RPTs or ERTs assigned either regionally or within discrete basins. Key outcomes from the study were that RPTs could be achieved whereas ERTs required significant additional investment and were infeasible if individual basins must meet the targets.
Artificial reefs in marine protected areas provide additional habitat for biodiversity viewing, and therefore may offer an innovative management solution for managing for coral reef recovery and resilience. Marine park user fees can generate revenue to help manage and maintain natural and artificial reefs. Using a stated preference survey, this study investigates the present consumer surplus associated with visitor use of a marine protected area in Barbados. Two hypothetical markets were presented to differentiate between respondents use values of either: (a) natural reefs within the marine reserve or (b) artificial reef habitat for recreational enhancement. Information was also collected on visitors’ perceptions of artificial reefs, reef material preferences and reef conservation awareness. From a sample of 250 visitors on snorkel trips, we estimate a mean willingness to pay of US$18.33 (median—US$15) for natural reef use and a mean value of US$17.58 (median—US$12.50) for artificial reef use. The number of marine species viewed, age of respondent, familiarity with the Folkestone Marine Reserve and level of environmental concern were statistically significant in influencing willingness to pay. Regression analyses indicate visitors are willing to pay a significant amount to view marine life, especially turtles. Our results suggest that user fees could provide a considerable source of income to aid reef conservation in Barbados. In addition, the substantial use value reported for artificial reefs indicates a reef substitution policy may be supported by visitors to the Folkestone Marine Reserve. We discuss our findings and highlight directions for future research that include the need to collect data to establish visitors’ non-use values to fund reef management.
Conserved lands provide multiple ecosystem services, including opportunities for nature-based recreation. Managing this service requires understanding the landscape attributes underpinning its provision, and how changes in land management affect its contribution to human wellbeing over time. However, evidence from both spatially explicit and temporally dynamic analyses is scarce, often due to data limitations. In this study, we investigated nature-based recreation within conserved lands in Vermont, USA. We used geotagged photographs uploaded to the photo-sharing website Flickr to quantify visits by in-state and out-of-state visitors, and we multiplied visits by mean trip expenditures to show that conserved lands contributed US $1.8 billion (US $0.18–20.2 at 95% confidence) to Vermont’s tourism industry between 2007 and 2014. We found eight landscape attributes explained the pattern of visits to conserved lands; visits were higher in larger conserved lands, with less forest cover, greater trail density and more opportunities for snow sports. Some of these attributes differed from those found in other locations, but all aligned with our understanding of recreation in Vermont. We also found that using temporally static models to inform conservation decisions may have perverse outcomes for nature-based recreation. For example, static models suggest conserved land with less forest cover receive more visits, but temporally dynamic models suggest clearing forests decreases, rather than increases, visits to these sites. Our results illustrate the importance of understanding both the spatial and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services for conservation decision-making.
Given their unique settings, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are more reliant on ocean-related activity than most continental U.S. states. However, these territories have a relatively high number of small, independently operated, informal businesses that are not reflected in employment statistics. To provide a better understanding of the true ocean-dependency of the economies of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, this report examines local data and knowledge that are not reflected in the federal data sources used to produce Economics: National Ocean Watch statistics for the U.S. ocean economy. Federal and local data sources were analyzed in the report to provide insights on estimating the small islands’ ocean economies.
The aim of this study is to assess the financial viability of small-scale fish farmers in central northern Namibia, namely Oshikoto Region, Oshana Region, Omusati Region and Ohangwena region; who receive fingerlings on a continuously basis from the Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources Ongwediva extension office. Out of the 76 active farmers, two-third (37) farmers were randomly selected and interviewed for this research. The data was analysed using cost benefit analysis and situational analysis. The situational analysis was carried out to assess the farmer’s situation, (that parameters included training opportunity transport and marketing). The cost benefit for this study shows that aquaculture will not be sustainable if not managed and planned well. Therefore, this study is recommended to strengthen the technical and organisational aspect of farmers, and also what is required to support the farmers.
This report helps illuminate the opportunities for accelerating coastal and ocean conservation and the diverse and significant benefits associated with doing so. First, it describes the different types of coastal protected areas in the United States. It then presents a new analytical synthesis of visitation and corresponding economic impact data from the National Park Service; the U.S. Department of the Interior, or DOI; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to illuminate the social and economic benefits that the conservation of special coastal places provides. Finally, the report offers recommendations for policymakers to harness the economic power of coastal parks, improve and expand coastal protected areas, and ensure equitable enjoyment of these American assets for generations to come.
Knowledge products comprise assessments of authoritative information supported by standards, governance, quality control, data, tools, and capacity building mechanisms. Considerable resources are dedicated to developing and maintaining knowledge products for biodiversity conservation, and they are widely used to inform policy and advise decision makers and practitioners. However, the financial cost of delivering this information is largely undocumented. We evaluated the costs and funding sources for developing and maintaining four global biodiversity and conservation knowledge products: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, Protected Planet, and the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas. These are secondary data sets, built on primary data collected by extensive networks of expert contributors worldwide. We estimate that US$160 million (range: US$116–204 million), plus 293 person-years of volunteer time (range: 278–308 person-years) valued at US$ 14 million (range US$12–16 million), were invested in these four knowledge products between 1979 and 2013. More than half of this financing was provided through philanthropy, and nearly three-quarters was spent on personnel costs. The estimated annual cost of maintaining data and platforms for three of these knowledge products (excluding the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for which annual costs were not possible to estimate for 2013) is US$6.5 million in total (range: US$6.2–6.7 million). We estimated that an additional US$114 million will be needed to reach pre-defined baselines of data coverage for all the four knowledge products, and that once achieved, annual maintenance costs will be approximately US$12 million. These costs are much lower than those to maintain many other, similarly important, global knowledge products. Ensuring that biodiversity and conservation knowledge products are sufficiently up to date, comprehensive and accurate is fundamental to inform decision-making for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Thus, the development and implementation of plans for sustainable long-term financing for them is critical.
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is arguably Australia’s most iconic natural asset. But virtually all of the relevant science indicates that the GBR is in decline. While there has been a significant increase in resources dedicated to the protection of the GBR in recent years, particularly in addressing rural runoff with voluntary practice change programs, it is recognised that these alone will not be enough to meet the water quality targets. Therefore, there is an urgent need to better understand the broad magnitude of investment required and the actions and approaches that are most likely to be cost effective, in order to inform changes to the long-term management of the GBR.
This document summarises the key findings from a project to:
Estimate the costs of undertaking a number management action based solutions sets designed to make significant progress towards the 2025 reef targets (i.e. a 20 per cent reduction in anthropogenic end-of-catchment fine sediment loads for Mackay Whitsunday and Burnett Mary with a 50 per cent reduction in the Fitzroy, Burdekin and Wet Tropics catchment by 2025; a 50 per cent reduction in anthropogenic end-of-catchment dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) for Mackay Whitsunday and Burnett Mary catchments and an 80 per cent reduction in the Burdekin and Wet Tropics catchments by 2025).
Identify potentially more efficient pathways to achieve those targets using total and marginal abatement cost curve approaches.
We have undertaken a review of the project and are pleased to provide our comments on this version of the report. We note that our review complements an internal peer review by DEHP (completed) and a second national and international peer review process planned prior to the report’s release in July.