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The Economic Benefits of the Dokdo Seals Restoration Project in Korea: A Contingent Valuation Study

Seul-Ye Lim (), Se-Jun Jin () and Seung-Hoon Yoo ()
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Seul-Ye Lim: Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, Seoul 01811, Korea
Se-Jun Jin: Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, Seoul 01811, Korea

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 6, 1-15

Abstract: Northern fur seals ( Callorhinus ursinus ), especially those that live in Dokdo, Korea, represent an endangered species in Korea. Thus, the government is considering the implementation of the Dokdo Seals (DS) restoration project. This article looks at the economic benefits for implementing the project, which includes making habitats for the DS, such as an artificial sea ranch, and training DS rescued from fishing nets and wounded in the wild to adapt to the wild so that they can be released into the Dokdo Sea. To this end, we looked at the willingness to pay (WTP) for the implementation of the project by conducting a contingent valuation (CV) survey of 1000 Korean households. We employed a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question format. Furthermore, we used a spike model to model the WTP responses with zero observations. The mean yearly WTP for the project implementation was computed to be KRW 4923 (USD 4.86) for next ten years per household, which is statistically significant at the 1% level. The national annual value amounts to KRW 90.9 billion (USD 89.8 million). This value can be taken as an indication of the economic benefits of restoring the endangered species.

Keywords: Callorhinus ursinus; Dokdo Seal; economic benefit; willingness to pay; contingent valuation; spike model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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