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The marine ecosystem services approach in a fisheries management perspective

Søren Anker Pedersen (), Hans Lassen and Hans Frost ()
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Søren Anker Pedersen: Nordic Marine Think Tank
Hans Lassen: Nordic Marine Think Tank
Hans Frost: Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

No 2015/03, IFRO Working Paper from University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Abstract: This paper reviews the concepts of marine ecosystem services and their economic valuation in a European fisheries management perspective. We find that the concept is at best cumbersome for advising on how best to regulate fisheries even in an ecosystem context. We propose that operational fisheries management must consider three different types of analysis, the yield of and the effect of fishing on the commercial species, the effects of fishing on habitats and non-commercial species and finally an overall analysis of the combined impact of all human activities on the marine ecosystem. We find that the concept of marine ecosystem services is not helpful for the two first mentioned types of analysis and that a cost-benefit analysis that is implied by the marine ecosystem services concept is inadequate for the third. We argue that the discussion needs to be divided into two: (1) finding the boundaries within which we accept impact on the marine ecosystem and (2) within these boundaries find the optimal fishing pressure, in mathematical terms replacing the unconstrained optimisation implied by the ecosystem services concept with an optimisation with constraints. The constraints are defined as to avoiding social unacceptable solutions.

Keywords: Marine ecosystem services; economic evaluation; fisheries management; ecosystem approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q22 Q57 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 16 pages
Date: 2015-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
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