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Recreational diver preferences for reef fish attributes: Economic implications of future change

Listed author(s):
  • Gill, David A.
  • Schuhmann, Peter W.
  • Oxenford, Hazel A.
Registered author(s):

    This study sought to quantify the potential effects of changes in Caribbean reef fish populations on recreational divers' consumer surplus. Over five hundred tourist SCUBA divers were interviewed at seven sites across three Caribbean countries representing a diversity of individuals within the Caribbean dive market. A choice experiment was used to assess willingness to pay as a function of the abundance and size of reef fishes, the presence of fishing activity/gear, and dive price. Despite some preference heterogeneity both between and within sites, the results indicate that future declines in the abundance of reef fishes, and particularly in the number of large fishes observed on recreational dives, will result in significant reductions in diver consumer surplus. On the other hand, improvements in fish populations and reduced fishing gear encounters are likely to result in significant economic gains. These results can be used to justify investment in pre-emptive management strategies targeted at improving reef fish stocks (namely reducing unsustainable fishing activities and land-based reef impacts), managing conflicting uses, as well as to indicate a possible source of financing for such conservation activities.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915000178
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2015)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 48-57

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:111:y:2015:i:c:p:48-57
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.01.004
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    1. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304, December.
    2. George Parsons & Steven Thur, 2008. "Valuing Changes in the Quality of Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Stated Preference Study of SCUBA Diving in the Bonaire National Marine Park," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 593-608, August.
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    6. Hoyos, David, 2010. "The state of the art of environmental valuation with discrete choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1595-1603, June.
    7. Edwards, Peter E.T., 2009. "Sustainable financing for ocean and coastal management in Jamaica: The potential for revenues from tourist user fees," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 376-385, March.
    8. Thur, Steven M., 2010. "User fees as sustainable financing mechanisms for marine protected areas: An application to the Bonaire National Marine Park," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 63-69, January.
    9. Hanley, Nick & Mourato, Susana & Wright, Robert E, 2001. " Choice Modelling Approaches: A Superior Alternative for Environmental Valuation?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 435-462, July.
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