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Looking below the surface: The cultural ecosystem service values of UK marine protected areas (MPAs)


  • Jobstvogt, Niels
  • Watson, Verity
  • Kenter, Jasper O.


Recreational users appreciate the UK marine environment for its cultural ecosystem services (CES) and their use and non-use values. UK Governments are currently establishing a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) informed by ecological data and socio-economic evidence. Evidence on CES values is needed, but only limited data have been available. We present a case study from the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA) follow-on phase that elicited divers’ and anglers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for potential MPAs. The case study is an innovative combination of a travel-cost based choice experiment and an attribute-based contingent valuation method. Our study design allowed us to understand the marine users’ preferences from both a user and a stewardship perspective. Following the UK NEA’s place-based CES framework, we characterised marine CES as environmental spaces that might be protected, with features including the underwater seascape, and iconic and non-iconic species. Our survey highlighted the importance of CES to divers and anglers. A wide variety of marine spaces influenced user-WTP, while stewardship-WTP was most influenced by management restrictions, species protection, and attitudes towards marine conservation. An understanding of key stakeholders’ CES values can inform a more holistic and sustainable approach to marine management, especially for decisions involving trade-offs between marine protection and opportunity costs of the blue economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jobstvogt, Niels & Watson, Verity & Kenter, Jasper O., 2014. "Looking below the surface: The cultural ecosystem service values of UK marine protected areas (MPAs)," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 97-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:10:y:2014:i:c:p:97-110
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.09.006

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    1. Bull, J.W. & Jobstvogt, N. & Böhnke-Henrichs, A. & Mascarenhas, A. & Sitas, N. & Baulcomb, C. & Lambini, C.K. & Rawlins, M. & Baral, H. & Zähringer, J. & Carter-Silk, E. & Balzan, M.V. & Kenter, J.O, 2016. "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats: A SWOT analysis of the ecosystem services framework," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 99-111.
    2. Tanner, Michael K. & Moity, Nicolas & Costa, Matthew T. & Marin Jarrin, Jose R. & Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio & Salinas-de-León, Pelayo, 2019. "Mangroves in the Galapagos: Ecosystem services and their valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 12-24.
    3. Paltriguera, L. & Ferrini, S. & Luisetti, T. & Turner, R.K., 2018. "An analysis and valuation of post-designation management aimed at maximising recreational benefits in coastal Marine Protected Areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 121-130.
    4. Grilli, Gianluca & Curtis, John & Hynes, Stephen & O’Reilly, Paul, 2018. "Sea Bass Angling in Ireland: A Structural Equation Model of Catch and Effort," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 285-293.
    5. Ranger, S. & Kenter, J.O. & Bryce, R. & Cumming, G. & Dapling, T. & Lawes, E. & Richardson, P.B., 2016. "Forming shared values in conservation management: An interpretive-deliberative-democratic approach to including community voices," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 344-357.
    6. Voltaire, Louinord & Donfouet, Hermann Pythagore Pierre & Pirrone, Claudio & Larzillière, Agathe, 2017. "Respondent Uncertainty and Ordering Effect on Willingness to Pay for Salt Marsh Conservation in the Brest Roadstead (France)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 47-55.
    7. Xiao, Lan & Haiping, Tang & Haoguang, Liang, 2017. "A theoretical framework for researching cultural ecosystem service flows in urban agglomerations," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(PA), pages 95-104.
    8. Kenter, Jasper O. & Jobstvogt, Niels & Watson, Verity & Irvine, Katherine N. & Christie, Michael & Bryce, Ros, 2016. "The impact of information, value-deliberation and group-based decision-making on values for ecosystem services: Integrating deliberative monetary valuation and storytelling," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 270-290.
    9. Buonocore, Elvira & Picone, Flavio & Donnarumma, Luigia & Russo, Giovanni F. & Franzese, Pier Paolo, 2019. "Modeling matter and energy flows in marine ecosystems using emergy and eco-exergy methods to account for natural capital value," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 392(C), pages 137-146.
    10. Hynes, Stephen & Gaeven Rainey, & O’Reilly, Paul, 2016. "Estimating the demand for Sea Angling in Irish Waters using on-site travel cost models," Working Papers 262595, National University of Ireland, Galway, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit.
    11. Burdon, D. & Potts, T. & McKinley, E. & Lew, S. & Shilland, R. & Gormley, K. & Thomson, S. & Forster, R., 2019. "Expanding the role of participatory mapping to assess ecosystem service provision in local coastal environments," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    12. Raymond, Christopher M. & Kenter, Jasper O., 2016. "Transcendental values and the valuation and management of ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 241-257.
    13. G Liliana Bravo Monroy, 2017. "Ecological and Cultural Values of Water Bodies: Recognising a Plural-Values Approach of Ecosystems," Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, Biomedical Research Network+, LLC, vol. 1(3), pages 589-591, August.
    14. Cooper, Nigel & Brady, Emily & Steen, Helen & Bryce, Rosalind, 2016. "Aesthetic and spiritual values of ecosystems: Recognising the ontological and axiological plurality of cultural ecosystem ‘services’," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 218-229.
    15. Bryce, Rosalind & Irvine, Katherine N. & Church, Andrew & Fish, Robert & Ranger, Sue & Kenter, Jasper O., 2016. "Subjective well-being indicators for large-scale assessment of cultural ecosystem services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 258-269.
    16. Fish, Robert & Church, Andrew & Winter, Michael, 2016. "Conceptualising cultural ecosystem services: A novel framework for research and critical engagement," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 21(PB), pages 208-217.
    17. van den Belt, Marjan & Stevens, Sharon M., 2016. "Transformative agenda, or lost in the translation? A review of top-cited articles in the first four years of Ecosystem Services," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 22(PA), pages 60-72.
    18. Hynes, Stephen & Gaeven, Rainey & O'Reilly, Paul, 2017. "Estimating a Total Demand Function for Sea Angling Pursuits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 73-81.
    19. Ruiz-Frau, A. & Krause, T. & Marbà , N., 2018. "The use of sociocultural valuation in sustainable environmental management," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 158-167.


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