Fish, fishers, seals and tourists: Economic consequences of creating a marine reserve in a multi-species, multi-activity context

Type Article
Date 2002-12
Language English
Author(s) Boncoeur Jean1, Alban Frederique1, Guyader OlivierORCID2, Thebaud OlivierORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université de Bretagne Occidentale Centre de Droit et d'Economie de la Mer Brest, France
2 : Ifremer, Service d'Economie Maritime Brest, France
Source Natural Resource Modeling (1939-7445) (Wiley), 2002-12 , Vol. 15 , N. 4 , P. 387–411
DOI 10.1111/j.1939-7445.2002.tb00095.x
Keyword(s) Marine protected areas, multispecies interactions, ecotourism, bioeconomic modeling

This paper investigates some economic consequences of creating a marine reserve on both fishing and ecotourism, when the range of controllability of fishing effort is limited and the impact of the reserve on ecosystem is considered. The issue is illustrated by the example of creating a no-take zone in part of a region where fishing is managed through a limited entry license system, and which is inhabited by two interacting stocks: a stock of prey (fish) and a stock of predators (seals). While the former is targeted by commercial fishing, the latter is not subject to harvest but is a potential basis for a commercial non-extractive activity (seal watching). Analysis is conducted with the help of a bioeconomic model combining the features of marine reserve modeling and of multispecies modeling. Following a description of the model, results of several simulation runs are presented. These show that creating a marine reserve has more complex economic implications than predicted in studies focused exclusively on one stock and/or commercial fisheries. More specifically, the model shows that the dynamics of the two interacting stocks reduces the benefits of the no-take zone for the fishing industry, while it makes the creation of this zone provide an opportunity for the development of ecotourism. Due to this dynamics, the model suggests that the optimal size of the reserve is larger when ecotourism is taken into account along with fishing activities.

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