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Valuing Marine Parks in a Small Island Developing State: A Travel Cost Analysis in the Seychelles

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  • A major problem facing the Seychelles is the decline in the quality and the value of marine protected areas (MPAs). Economic valuation can help guide policy makers to understand the value of marine resources and the cost of neglecting MPAs by expressing the value of their goods and services in monetary terms. This paper presents an analysis of the economic value of a group of marine parks in Seychelles. The Travel-Cost Method (TCM) is used to establish willingness to pay (WTP) of international tourists for trips to marine parks in Seychelles from their observed behaviour. The average per trip consumer surplus is approximately €128 for single-site visitors and €65 for multiple-site visitors. The total social welfare value attributable to the recreational opportunity in marine parks is approximately €3.7 million annually. These results provide policy makers with a strong justification for government investment needed to maintain marine sites in Seychelles.
  • KEYWORDS: Small Island Developing State, Fisheries economics, Travel Cost Method, Fisheries Management, Marine Parks, Governance: Marine Reserves and Protected Areas
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  • Mwebaze, P. & A. MacLeod. Valuing Marine Parks in a Small Island Developing State: A Travel Cost Analysis in the Seychelles. In: Visible Possibilities: The Economics of Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Trade: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 16-20, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Edited by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2012.
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  • AQUAFISH, USAID, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, Norad, The World Bank, Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam, NAAFE, World Wildlife Fund, United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme, ICEIDA, JICA, JIFRS, The European Association of Fisheries Economists, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation
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