Technological adaptation to harmful algal blooms : socioeconomic consequences for the shellfish farming sector in Bourgneuf Bay (France)

Type Article
Date 2013-10
Language English
Author(s) Perez Jose1, Raux Pascal2, Girard Sophie1, Mongruel Remi1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, UMR, AMURE, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Univ Brest, UMR, AMURE, OSU IUEM, Brest, France.
Source Aquaculture Economics & Management (1365-7305) (Taylor & Francis Inc), 2013-10 , Vol. 17 , N. 4 , P. 341-359
DOI 10.1080/13657305.2013.825930
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) detoxification, economic viability, harmful algal blooms, safeguarding storage, shellfish farming
Abstract The economic impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on the shellfish farming sector depend on their frequency, duration and intensity. Safeguarding storage and accelerated detoxification are technical solutions that could mitigate the effects of these events. This article first analyzes the economic feasibility of the technological changes that can be adopted by the shellfish farming sector in France. It then examines their associated social impacts. Finally, an application is carried out on the Bourgneuf Bay production area. The economic analysis addresses three issues related to HABs: (1) the economic performance of the shellfish farms in Bourgneuf Bay, (2) the costs of these new technologies, and (3) the economic viability of such an investment. Results suggest that only a few economically viable farms would be able to implement these technologies, yet this would not be an option for smaller, less profitable farms. Individual action within the context of a laissez-faire public policy, taking into account the need for technological equipment, would result in a concentration of the sector to the benefit of the largest capitalist farms, with negative effects on employment and the distribution of economic rent. Alternative ways for implementing these technological changes would require collective actions or public support.
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