Proceedings of the 11
International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 7-11 July 2008
Session number 23.889
The value of coral quality to SCUBA divers in Barbados
, J. Casey
, H. Oxenford
University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Economics and Finance, 601 S. College Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28401 USA
Washington and Lee University,
Lexington VA 24450 USA
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental
Studies, St Michael Barbados, W.I. BB11000
The objective of this research is to estimate the economic value of coral reef quality related to
SCUBA diving in Barbados. This value is derived using a stated preference survey of resident and tourist divers
in Barbados conducted in 2007.
In addition to a variety of demographic variables, divers were asked about their
level of participation, expenditures related to travel and diving and encounters with specific species. Divers also
identified characteristics of their most recent dive including price, crowding, fish diversity, encounters with
marine turtles and coral reef quality and indicated their maximum willingness to pay for the dive.
was represented via a series of photographs representing a known range of coral cover. Hence, a quantifiable
measure of coral cover is presented in a qualitative fashion that divers can understand. Results indicate that
willingness to pay for increased coral quality varies with diver experience and the quality of their most recent
dive. The results of this study can be used to inform management decisions regarding reef use and can aid in the
development of policies aimed at maximizing the returns from diving while reducing the negative impacts of
Coral quality, willingness-to-pay, marine turtles.
Barbados, like many tropical small island developing
states, relies heavily on healthy coral reef ecosystems
to maintain its shoreline and world famous white sand
beaches, support nearshore artisanal fisheries and the
tourism industry on which the GDP is now largely
dependent (National Commission on Sustainable
However, the very activities that
depend on the reef, have taken their toll on reef
condition, particularly those nearshore, and these
reefs are now generally considered to be degraded
through eutrophication, heavy use and over-
harvesting (Government of Barbados 2002).
compromised the resilience of Barbados' reefs to
withstand additional external threats such as mass
associated with the global warming trend.
for more effective conservation and management of
the reef ecosystem in Barbados is clear, urgent and
recognized by the Government (Coastal Zone
Management Act 1998).
The purpose of this work is to understand the