Using stated preference valuation in the offshore environment to support marine planning



Börger T, Hooper TL, Austen MC, Marcone O & Rendón O (2020) Using stated preference valuation in the offshore environment to support marine planning. Journal of Environmental Management, 265, Art. No.: 110520.

This study presents valuations of components of marine natural capital that have hitherto been overlooked by the valuation literature. Using a discrete choice experiment, it values a set of ecosystem services linked to seabed natural capital in the UK section of the North Sea. The study focuses on offshore seabed habitats, using Good Environmental Status as a measure of seabed health, thus linking directly to management targets under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. It considers how changing pressures on seabed habitats could affect marine industries and other ecosystems through trade-offs with (1) the contribution that exploitation of these habitats makes to the maritime cultural heritage; and (2) changes to the health of seabird populations. For seabed habitats and seabirds, the elicited values mainly represent non-use values for changes in the condition of natural capital assets. For maritime cultural heritage the valuation refers to the changed provision of this cultural ecosystem service. Results show that the public in England hold significant, strongly correlated, values for changes in the condition of offshore seabeds and seabird populations. Projected losses in maritime cultural heritage are found to lead to expected welfare decreases. Implications of these findings for marine planning and decision-making are discussed.

Marine planning; Marine natural capital; Marine ecosystem services; Discrete choice experiments; Stated preferences

Journal of Environmental Management: Volume 265

FundersDepartment for Environment Food & Rural Affairs and Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date01/07/2020
Publication date online11/04/2020
Date accepted by journal28/03/2020