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Economic valuation of species loss in the open sea

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  • Ressurreição, Adriana
  • Gibbons, James
  • Dentinho, Tomaz Ponce
  • Kaiser, Michel
  • Santos, Ricardo S.
  • Edwards-Jones, Gareth

Abstract

Although the oceans cover 70% of the surface of the planet few studies have considered the economic valuation of marine biodiversity, despite the importance of such information for marine management and conservation. This study uses a contingent valuation method to estimate the public's willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid loss in the number of marine species in the waters around the Azores archipelago. We estimated the marginal value associated with increased levels of species loss (10% and 25%) in five marine taxa (mammals, fish, algae, birds and invertebrates) and all marine species considered as a whole, via a face to face survey of residents and visitors to two Azorean islands. The results suggest small but statistically significant differences in the WTP to prevent losses in the different taxa (mammals = fish > birds = invertebrates = algae). The results also suggest a greater WTP to preserve all marine taxa as a whole, than for a series of individual marine taxa. The valuation of the ecosystem and taxa may be influenced by the maritime culture of the respondents, but despite this, the findings challenge the commonly held premise that charismatic taxa have a disproportionately strong influence on WTP, and they provide important insights into human preferences for biodiversity conservation.

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  • Ressurreição, Adriana & Gibbons, James & Dentinho, Tomaz Ponce & Kaiser, Michel & Santos, Ricardo S. & Edwards-Jones, Gareth, 2011. "Economic valuation of species loss in the open sea," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 729-739, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:729-739
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    2. Stephan Lewandowsky & James Risbey & Michael Smithson & Ben Newell & John Hunter, 2014. "Scientific uncertainty and climate change: Part I. Uncertainty and unabated emissions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 21-37, May.
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    6. Baulcomb, Corinne & Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne, 2014. "A Review of the Marine Economic Valuation Literature 1975 – 2011: Classifying Existing Studies by Service Type, Value Type, and Valuation Methodology," Working Papers 190935, Scottish Agricultural College, Land Economy Research Group.
    7. Farr, Marina & Stoeckl, Natalie & Alam Beg, Rabiul, 2014. "The non-consumptive (tourism) ‘value’ of marine species in the Northern section of the Great Barrier Reef," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 89-103.
    8. Zhang, Fan & Fogarty, James, 2015. "Nonmarket Valuation of Water Sensitive Cities: Current Knowledge and Issues," Working Papers 207694, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    9. Jobstvogt, Niels & Hanley, Nick & Hynes, Stephen & Kenter, Jasper & Witte, Ursula, 2014. "Twenty thousand sterling under the sea: Estimating the value of protecting deep-sea biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 10-19.
    10. Kniebes, Carola & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Validity of WTP measures under preference uncertainty," Kiel Working Papers 1972, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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    12. Jobstvogt, Niels & Hanley, Nick & Hynes, Stephen & Kenter, Jasper & Witte, Ursula, 2013. "Investigating public preferences for the protection of deep-sea ecosystems: A Choice Experiment Approach," Working Papers 160057, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    13. Stephanie F. Stefanski & Jay P. Shimshack, 2016. "Valuing Marine Biodiversity in the Gulf of Mexico: Evidence from the Proposed Boundary Expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary," Marine Resource Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 211-232.
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    15. Aanesen, Margrethe & Armstrong, Claire & Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Falk-Petersen, Jannike & Hanley, Nick & Navrud, Ståle, 2015. "Willingness to pay for unfamiliar public goods: Preserving cold-water coral in Norway," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 53-67.
    16. Baulcomb, Corinne & Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne, 2014. "A Review of the Marine Economic Valuation Literature 1975 – 2011: Classifying Existing Studies by Service Type, Value Type, and Valuation Methodology," Working Papers 190935, Scotland's Rural College (formerly Scottish Agricultural College), Land Economy & Environment Research Group.
    17. Börger, Tobias & Beaumont, Nicola J. & Pendleton, Linwood & Boyle, Kevin J. & Cooper, Philip & Fletcher, Stephen & Haab, Tim & Hanemann, Michael & Hooper, Tara L. & Hussain, S. Salman & Portela, Rosim, 2014. "Incorporating ecosystem services in marine planning: The role of valuation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 161-170.
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    19. Tobarra-González, Miguel Angel, 2014. "Valoración del Parque Natural de Calblanque y tratamiento de respuestas protesta," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 14(1).
    20. Braun, Carola & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2016. "Validity of Willingness to Pay Measures under Preference Uncertainty," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 141320, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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