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Public Assessment of Releasing a Captive Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin into the Wild in South Korea

Hyo-Jin Kim (), Se-Jun Jin () and Seung-Hoon Yoo ()
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Hyo-Jin Kim: Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 232 Gongreung-Ro, Nowon-Gu, Seoul 01811, Korea
Se-Jun Jin: Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 232 Gongreung-Ro, Nowon-Gu, Seoul 01811, Korea

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-8

Abstract: A captive Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin named “Jedol” was released from a zoo into the wild, in Jeju Island Sea off South Korea, in July 2013 to improve his welfare. Since he was illegally captured off the coast of Juju Island in May 2009, he had been performing in dolphin shows at Seoul Zoo, which is owned and operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The release demanded considerable public expenditure, of which the source was local taxes gathered from the residents of Seoul. This paper seeks to conduct an ex-post evaluation of the release, employing the contingent valuation (CV) technique. A total of 500 households living in Seoul in 2013 participated in the CV survey to report their willingness to pay (WTP) for the release. Fifty-two percent were willing to accept an increase in local taxes over the next five years to carry out the release. The mean household WTP estimate was obtained as KRW 4880 (USD 4.56) per annum. The present values of the total WTP and the cost of the release are KRW 79.82 billion (USD 74.53 million) and KRW 751 million (USD 701,000), respectively, in 2013. Interestingly, the former is much more than the latter. We can conclude that the release was desirable from the point of view of Seoul residents.

Keywords: animal welfare; contingent valuation; dolphin; public assessment; wild sea; willingness to pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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