Valuing the recovery of overexploited fish stocks in the context of existence and option values
The current reduction in commercial fish stocks is a problem of global concern. In response to this situation, administrations around the world are attempting to recover critical stocks by implementing new regulations based on catching restrictions and recovery plans. These restrictions have negative effects on local economies, but species recovery also brings important benefits to society in the long term. Given that the recovery of endangered species also results in considerable non-use economic value, this paper employs contingent valuation techniques to measure individual preferences for different recovery levels. We distinguish primarily between existence and option values linked to various levels of the desired stocks and discuss how these values influence willingness to pay (WTP) estimates. Our results show that recovered stocks for hake and Norwegian lobster increase local welfare, and show that the median household WTP is about 17.73[euro] for a recovery programme regulated by the European Union.
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