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The Economics of Protected Marine Species: Concepts in Research and Management

Edited by: Kristy Wallmo, Kathryn Bisack, Daniel K. Lew, Dale E. Squires

Publisher: Frontiers Media SA

ISBN: 9782889199907

Product Name: Frontiers Research Topic Ebook

Protected marine species have populations that are depleted, decreasing, or are at-risk of extinction or local extirpation. As of 2015 The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a global environmental organization, lists approximately 737 marine species worldwide that are considered at risk of extinction. Many are provided legal protection through national laws requiring research and management measures aimed at recovering and maintaining the species at a sustainable population level. Integral to the policy decision process involving the management and recovery of marine species is the consideration of trade-offs between the economic and ecological costs and benefits of protection. This suggests that economics, at its core the study of trade-offs, has a significant role.

In the U.S. a somewhat traditional use of economics in protected species research and management has involved cost minimization or cost-effectiveness analyses to help select or prioritize conservation actions. Economic research has also provided estimates of public non-market benefits of recovering species, which can be used in larger management frameworks such as ecosystem based management and coastal and marine spatial planning. Inherent in much of this research, however, are complex biological and ecological relationships in which varying degrees of scientific uncertainty are present. Addressing this type of uncertainty can affect the economic outcomes related to protected species. For example, recent work suggests that increasing scientific precision in biological sampling and models can greatly affect the magnitude of economic benefits to commercial fisheries, while other research suggests that public non-market benefits of species recovery are sensitive to uncertainty about baseline population estimates.

Previous research has illustrated the importance of understanding the biological, ecological, and economic aspects of protected species management and recovery. In this research topic we synthesize current protected marine species economic research and expand the discussion on present and future challenges related to protected species economics. The series of manuscripts brings together an array of prominent researchers and advances our understanding of the ecological and economic aspects of managing and recovering protected marine species.

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