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Uses of ecosystem services provided by MPAs: How much do they impact the local economy? A southern Europe perspective

AuthorsRoncin, Nicolas; Alban, Frédérique; Charbonnel, Eric; Crechriou, Romain; Cruz Modino, Raquel de la; Culioli, Jean-Michel; Dimech, Mark; Goñi, Raquel; Guala, Ivan; Higgins, Ruth; Lavisse, Élodie; Le Direach, Laurence; Luna, Beatriz; Marcos, Concepción; Maynou, Francesc CSIC ORCID ; Pascual-Fernández, José Jaime; Person, Jeremy; Smith, Philip; Stobart, Ben; Szelianszky, Emese; Valle, Carlos; Vaselli, Stefano; Boncoeur, Jean
KeywordsActivity-based user value
Local economic impact
Marine protected areas
Socio-economic field surveys
Southern Europe
Issue Date17-Nov-2008
CitationJournal for Nature Conservation 16(4): 256-270 (2008)
AbstractThis paper addresses the problem of measuring the local economic impact of marine protected areas (MPAs). It relies on a broad socio-economic field survey covering 12 case studies in southern Europe, and focusing on two major uses of MPA ecosystem services: fishing and scuba-diving. The impact of these uses on the local economic system is expressed in terms of incomes and jobs, and the methodology relies on a distinction between users transforming ecosystem services into commodities, and users consuming ecosystem services for recreational purposes. Assessment results show a variety of situations, from MPAs where commercial fishing is the major economic stake, to MPAs where recreational activities have a dominant economic role. However, available information concerning the number of recreational users and visitors, on one side, and the number and characteristics of commercial fishing boats, on the other side, suggest that the second situation is more representative of the area under study than the former one. Due to the lack of baseline, the question of sorting out the “reserve effect” from the “site effect” is addressed with the help of survey results concerning perceptions and attitudes of users. As regards divers and diving operators, answers to the survey suggest that the reserve effect plays an important role in the attractiveness of the area. Results are not so clear in the case of fishers, an ambiguity reflecting the uncertainty of the spill-over effects expected from marine reserves on fishing grounds
Description15 pages, 12 figures, 5 tables.-- Issue title: Special Issue on European marine protected areas as tools for fisheries management and conservation
Presentation with same title (18 slides) by Frédérique Alban, Nicolas Roncin and Jean Boncoeur at Les Journées AMURE, Brest, May 27-28, 2009, available at:
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