Temporal dimensions are highly relevant to the analysis of ecosystem services and their economic value. In this paper, we provide a framework that can be used for analyzing temporal dimensions of ecosystem services, we present a case study including an analysis of the supply of three ecosystem services in a Dutch national park, the Hoge Veluwe, over a time span of around a century, and we analyze the implications of temporal scales for ecosystem services analysis and valuation and ecosystem management. Our paper shows there can be major shifts in the values attributed to specific ecosystem services at time scales of decades or less. Changes in values at these time scales and are not commonly included in cost benefit analysis of ecosystem management options or natural capital accounts. Yet – given the long time lapse with which ecosystems may respond to management – these changes are highly relevant. We argue that ecosystem managers using cost benefit analysis should be aware of both uncertainties and of temporal changes in ecosystem values, and – to deal with unexpected changes in ecosystem services values - consider management strategies that target multiple ecosystem services.
The identification and economic valuation of ecosystem services (ES) are becoming important components of coral reef management. In many contexts, protection of human assets against coastal floods is one of the most important ES provided by coral reefs. The methods utilized to characterize this ES should be able to accommodate situations with low data availability, without sacrificing robustness. In this paper, we suggest such an approach that utilizes expert opinion and does not require copious amounts of data. Our primary objective is to find a balance between simple and complex models that can be used in a data scarce environment, to produce an economic valuation of the coral reef ES of protection against coastal floods. The approach has three steps: (i) identify geographic zones and assets at risk, (ii) identify the contributing role of coral reefs in the protection of coasts and, (iii) value the annual repair costs of assets through the avoided damage cost approach. The proposed method seems appropriate for advocacy with policy makers, but appears to be less effective for small scale approaches, such as those required for Payment for ES negotiations or marine spatial planning.
The wild Atlantic salmon which spawns in Scottish waters is valued by a multitude of stakeholders. Present wild Atlantic salmon stocks are decreasing, resulting in conflicting perspectives on rights to exploitation and access by angling and net fisheries, forcing government, management and conservation agencies to react and mitigate. Interviews were conducted with key representatives actively involved in the management, conservation and utilisation of the wild salmon of Scotland to investigate the social and political dimensions of the fisheries. All stakeholders noted that a key concern impacting on the wild Atlantic salmon survival was at sea mortality and the risk from the propagation of the aquaculture industry on the west and north coasts. The encouragement given by the Scottish Government for the continual development of fish farms has led to stakeholders feeling dissatisfied with the value given to the Scottish wild salmon fishery. Stakeholders felt distrusting of the Government's commitment for creating legislative measures which will adequately protect wild salmon populations. Furthermore, different resource users have differing values attached to salmon and therefore competing perspectives on fair access and entitlement for the activity. Government must be respectful of actors differing perspectives to gain the trust of stakeholders in order to guide management and conservation practices efficaciously for the sustainability of the wild salmon fisheries in Scotland.
Economic valuation of ecosystem services is widely advocated as being useful to support ecosystem management decision-making. However, the extent to which it is actually used or considered useful in decision-making is poorly documented. This literature blindspot is explored with an application to coastal and marine ecosystems management in Australia. Based on a nation-wide survey of eighty-eight decision-makers representing a diversity of management organizations, the perceived usefulness and level of use of economic valuation of ecosystem services, in support of coastal and marine management, are examined. A large majority of decision-makers are found to be familiar with economic valuation and consider it useful - even necessary – in decision-making, although this varies across groups of decision-makers. However, most decision-makers never or rarely use economic valuation. The perceived level of importance and trust in estimated dollar values differ across ecosystem services, and are especially high for values that relate to commercial activities. A number of factors are also found to influence respondent's use of economic valuation. Such findings concur with conclusions from other studies on the usefulness and use of ESV in environmental management decision-making. They also demonstrate the strength of the survey-based approach developed in this application to examine this issue in a variety of contexts.
Commercial fishermen are arguably the stakeholder group most likely to be directly impacted by the expansion of the marine renewable energy (MRE) sector. The potential opposition of fishermen may hinder the development of MRE projects and the provision of benefit schemes could to enhance acceptance. Benefit schemes refer to additional voluntary measures that are provided by a developer to local stakeholders. The aim of this study is to explore the issue of the provision of benefit packages to local fishing communities and financial compensation measures for fishermen who may be impacted by MRE projects. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fourteen fishermen from three separate case study sites around the island of Ireland where MRE projects were being developed. In addition, ten company fisheries liaison officers (CFLOs) who have worked on MRE projects in the UK and Ireland were also interviewed. The interviews were analysed under the headings of local employment, benefits in kind, compensation and community funds and ownership of projects. Analysis shows that there is uncertainty among fishermen over whether they would benefit or gain employment from MRE. Provision of re-training schemes and preferential hiring practices could be used by MRE developers to reduce this uncertainty. There was also agreement between fishermen and CFLOs on the need for the provision of an evidence-base and a standard approach for the calculation of disruption payments. A formal structure for the provision of benefit schemes for fishermen would be useful. Furthermore, schemes that provide a range of benefits to fishermen and other stakeholders over the lifetime of a MRE project are more likely to be successful at enhancing acceptance.
Using various sources of information, we reviewed the literature about the economic valuation of ecosystem services in Mexico. The objectives were to analyze the diversity and consistency of value estimations, identify research gaps, and suggest directions for future research. We found 43 studies that used non-market valuation methods to estimate the economic benefits of 24 types of ecosystem services. The most evaluated service was recreation, followed by water and food resources. Contingent valuation was the most cited method, followed by travel cost and choice experiment methods. While the number of studies is encouraging, many important ecosystem services still remain unnoticed and are not accounting towards the total economic value (e.g. pollination, medicine, bioenergy, etc.). In addition, the majority of studies revealed a lack of validity tests, which challenges the reliability of results. Hypothetical bias and the embedding effect are serious problems that must be addressed in future stated preference studies. Considering the issues reviewed here, we believe that the scientific community in Mexico should keep doing more research on economic valuation. This information can help to transit from hypothetical to real markets and to highlight the critical role of ecosystem services in society.
This paper explores economic aspects of a recent proposal to shift fisheries to a “Balanced Harvesting” (BH) strategy, as a means to achieve the goal, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity and related to the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, of “conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning” within fishery ecosystems. Studies indicate that a BH strategy—broadening the range of species and sizes caught in the aquatic ecosystem, and lowering exploitation rates for some conventionally targeted species—may provide improved ecological performance relative to conventional harvesting strategies. However, the potential economic implications have received little attention to date. This paper provides a preliminary economic assessment of BH, focusing on six main themes: (i) assessing benefits and costs, (ii) factors affecting the economics of BH, (iii) economic issues in implementing the ingredients of BH, (iv) effects of incremental and/or partial implementation of BH, (v) transition options within the harvesting sector of the fishery, and (vi) distributional impacts arising across fisheries, fleet sectors, and fishing gears, and between the present and the future.
Within the new FMSY European paradigm, this paper shows how a combination of changes in fish stock mixing, non-stationarity in productivity, and constraints on unit stock concepts undermine the effective management of fisheries, especially when management reference points are not adjusted accordingly. Recent changes in stock structures, conditions and stock mixing between eastern and western Baltic cod can jeopardize the reliability of stock assessments and of the fishery economy. We modelled how different management, individual vessel decision-making, and stock growth and mixing scenarios have induced alternative individual vessel spatial effort allocation and economic performance by affecting fishing costs and by changing the relative stock abundance and size distribution. Stock mixing heavily influences profit and stock abundance for stocks that have experienced increased fishing mortality (F) levels. Western cod F has increased from a higher total allowed catches (TAC) advised in the medium-term due to the westward migration of eastern cod while eastern cod F has increased from reduced growth in the east. Greater pressures on western cod and decreased eastern cod growth and conditions greatly reduce the overall cod spawning stock biomass, thus changing the landing size composition and associated fishery profits. As a cumulative effect, fishing efforts are redirected towards western areas depending on management (quotas). However, total profits are less affected when traditional fishing opportunities and switching possibilities for other species and areas are maintained. Our evaluation indicates that current management mechanisms cannot correct for potential detrimental effects on cod fisheries when effort re-allocation changes landing origins. By investigating different economic starting conditions we further show that Baltic cod mis-management could have resulted in unintended unequal (skewed) impacts and serious consequences for certain fleets and fishing communities compared with others. Our management strategy evaluation is instrumental in capturing non-linear effects of different recommendations on sustainability and economic viability, and we show that fixed F-values management is likely not an attainable or sufficient goal in ensuring the sustainability and viability of fisheries and stocks given changing biological conditions.
Coral reefs are highly productive shallow marine habitats at risk of degradation due to CO2-mediated global ocean changes, including ocean acidification and rising sea temperature. Consequences of coral reef habitat loss are expected to include reduced reef fisheries production. To our knowledge, the welfare impact of reduced reef fish supply in commercial markets has not yet been studied. We develop a global model of annual demand for reef fish in regions with substantial coral reef area and use it to project potential consumer surplus losses given coral cover projections from a coupled climate, ocean, and coral biology simulation (CO2-COST). Under an illustrative high emission scenario (IPCC RCP 8.5), 92% of coral cover is lost by 2100. Policies reaching lower radiative forcing targets (e.g., IPCC RCP 6.0) may partially avoid habitat loss, thereby preserving an estimated $14 to $20 billion in consumer surplus through 2100 (2014$ USD, 3% discount). Avoided damages vary annually, are sensitive to biological assumptions, and appear highest when coral ecosystems have moderate adaptive capacity. These welfare loss estimates are the first to monetize ocean acidification impacts to commercial finfisheries and complement the existing estimates of economic impacts to shellfish and to coral reefs generally.
The goal of Fair Trade certification is to contribute to sustainable development by offering trading conditions that are transparent and equitable. One important condition is improved market access and strengthened producer organizations. In regions like Southeast Asia this goal can be hard to achieve in value chains where local middlemen play a central role in not only trading fish, but also providing fishers with access to capital, infrastructure and essential services. Despite these contributions, Fair Trade principles presume that middlemen adversely control market benefits that should accrue to primary producers. The social and economic contributions of middlemen, and the potentially dependent relationship fishers have with them, is therefore a controversial issue if Fair Trade fish is going to be marketed as a product capable of improving fisher livelihoods. In this paper, we explore the role of middlemen in the first ever Fair Trade USA fishery: handline-caught yellowfin tuna from Molucca in Indonesia. Interviews with fishers, middlemen, the local processor and those involved in Fair Trade implementation were conducted and analzed to understand changes to the organization of the value chain and of the community by defining how middlemen contribute to the assets and capabilities of fishers. The results indicate that middlemen contribute but also control the full range of assets required to enable fishers to fulfill their value chain functions. Introduction of Fair Trade has facilitated a rapid reorganization of value chain structure in the fishery with notable impacts on fisher perceptions of the resource and the market. However, it remains unclear what this value chain reorganization means for community structure. The opportunities and challenges for Fair Trade USA fish to be an empowering force depend heavily on fisher-middlemen dynamics being adequately considered.