A new approach to assess marine opportunity costs and monetary values-in-use for spatial planning and conservation; the case study of Gulf of Naples, Mediterranean Sea, Italy

Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 152 (2018), 135-144

Abstract: 

The methodology described in the paper published in 2018 in Ocean & Coastal Management allows for the estimation of the monetary value of marine space related to various maritime activities occurring in a specific area. Its results can help marine planners to recognize zones with higher socio-economic importance and consequently adapt the zonation process in order to fulfil conservation objectives. The methodology was tested in the Gulf of Naples.

Sea Basin(s): 
Country: 
Year: 
2018
Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Sectors: 
Aquaculture
Fishery
Shipping
Tourism
Type of Issue: 
Coexistence of uses
Economic aspects
Type of practice: 
Methodology
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects
Cross-border / trans-national aspect: 
No

Questions this practice may help answer

  • How can the monetary value of different maritime uses be assessed?
  • How can the monetary value of maritime activities be represented in a spatial form?
  • How can this evaluation support the identification of marine areas important for socio-economic purposes?

Implementation Context

This methodology was developed as part of a Ph.D. thesis carried out between 2013 and 2015 by the main author of the paper published in Ocean & Coastal Management.

Aspects / Objectives

The main objective of the proposed methodology is to estimate the monetary value of marine space in relation to the maritime activities occurring in a specific area. Specifically, the methodology provides an estimate of the profit gained in a selected study area by each single maritime activity as well as by the group of all maritime activities occurring in the area. The methodology calculates the monetary value of a marine space at a resolution of 10 hectares. The results are intended to support the implementation of a zoning process which could safeguard the socio-economic needs of local communities while achieving conservation priorities for the preservation of marine ecosystems integrity.

Method

Algorithms to estimate the monetary values of the principal maritime activities (large-scale and small-scale fisheries, aquaculture, beach resorts, yachting, diving and commercial shipping) have been developed and applied in the Gulf of Naples (centre Tyrrhenian sea, Italy). These algorithms are based on different sources of data (questionnaires, monitoring activities, official local authority reports, web and scientific literature). They can be compared as their outputs are all expressed in the same measurement unit. The algorithms developed were integrated in a single new flexible approach, called “Systematic Costs Assessment” (SCA), to assess opportunity costs in systematic conservation planning which was applied in the study area. The SCA was applied through the following steps:

  • The study area was divided in 10,454 hexagons of 10 hectares each, defined as Cost Units (CUs).
  • Seven algorithms were developed and used to estimate the monetary value (referred in the paper as “values-in-use”) of each activity in the CUs in a one-year period.
  • The estimated values of all activities occurring in a single CU were summed up in order to obtain its overall monetary value.
  • In turn, by totalling the monetary value obtained for all the CUs it was possible to estimate both the economic value of each maritime activity for the entire study area (i.e. the Gulf on Naples) as well as the overall economic value of all the maritime activities in the study area.
  • The values obtained for the entire Gulf of Naples were further divided for its surface to obtain an estimation of the average monetary value for a hectare of sea space during one year time.

From a methodological perspective, it should be noted that the contemporary use of economic estimates based on economic data and economic estimates derived from ecosystem service evaluation shall be avoided, as it could lead to underestimation or overestimation of the value of some of the activities. In this perspective, the paper widely discusses the case of small-scale fisheries, for which the economic estimate has been based on the distribution of coralligenous patches, which are considered hot spots for this activity. This process has led to a considerable overestimation of the small-scale fisheries economic value.

Commercial activities mapped in the Gulf of Naples; Source: L. Appolloni, R. Sandulli, G. Vetrano, G. Russo. A new approach to assess marine opportunity costs and monetary values-in-use for spatial planning and conservation; the case study of Gulf of Naples, Mediterranean Sea, Italy. Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 152 (2018), 135-144;

Main Outputs / Results

The main results obtained for the study area are:

  • The annual monetary estimated value (in Euros) of the marine space for a) each activity in each CU; b) the sum of activities in each CU.
  • The annual monetary estimated value (in Euros) of the marine space for a) each activity in the entire study area b) the sum of activities in the entire study area.
  • The annual monetary estimated value (in Euros) of the marine space for a) each activity in 1 ha of the study area (on average) b) the sum of activities sin 1 ha of the study area (on average).

The analysis also highlighted that small scale fishery is the most important activity in the study area in terms of monetary value generated. The integrated monetary values of all CUs (taking into account the contribution of all maritime activities occurring in the CU) were spatially illustrated on a map, highlighting areas of greater economic value.

Map illustrating the monetary values estimated in each CU for all the activities considered in the study area; Source: L. Appolloni, R. Sandulli, G. Vetrano, G. Russo. A new approach to assess marine opportunity costs and monetary values-in-use for spatial planning and conservation; the case study of Gulf of Naples, Mediterranean Sea, Italy. Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 152 (2018), 135-144;

Transferability

In principle, the methodology could be applied in other marine areas. However, as the study specifically dealt with the area of the Gulf of Naples, transfer of the methodology would require some adaptation to local socio-economic and environmental conditions.

The reliability of the application of the proposed methodology to other contexts is largely improved if the algorithm developers also have a clear knowledge of the main economic activities of the studied area and their specific problematics. Previous efforts on research and exchange of information with local stakeholders are considered highly relevant for the effective application of the methodology and the production of reliable results.

The results of the study could support MSP in the Gulf of Naples, highlighting areas of greater economic value.

Contact Person

Luca Apolloni

Department of Sciences and Technologies, Marine Ecology Laboratory

Parthenope University of Naples (Italy)

E-mail: luca.appolloni@uniparthenope.it

Responsible Entity

Department of Sciences and Technologies, Marine Ecology Laboratory

Parthenope University of Naples (Italy)

Costs / Funding Source

The methodology described in the paper published in Ocean & Coastal Management, is based on the work carried out by the first author during his Ph.D., which was financially supported by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and the National Inter-Universities Consortium for the Marine Science (CoNISMa).

Share

Print