ICRS 2008 Schuhmann Oxenford and Casey

ICRS 2008 Schuhmann Oxenford and Casey - Proceedings of the...

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Proceedings of the 11 th 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 P. Schuhmann 1 , J. Casey 2 , H. Oxenford 3 1) University of North Carolina Wilmington, Department of Economics and Finance, 601 S. College Rd. Wilmington, NC 28401 USA 2) Washington and Lee University, Lexington VA 24450 USA 3) University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, St Michael Barbados, W.I. BB11000 Abstract. 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. Coral quality 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 tourism activities. Keywords: Coral quality, willingness-to-pay, marine turtles. Introduction 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 Development 2004). 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). This has compromised the resilience of Barbados' reefs to withstand additional external threats such as mass bleaching from elevated water temperatures associated with the global warming trend. The need 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
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course ECN 422 taught by Professor Peterschuhmann during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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ICRS 2008 Schuhmann Oxenford and Casey - Proceedings of the...

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