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Preferences for Management of Near-Shore Marine Ecosystems: A Choice Experiment in New Zealand

Author(s): Sophal Chhun | Paul Thorsnes | Henrik Moller

Journal: Resources
ISSN 2079-9276

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 406;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: ecosystem service valuation | choice experiment | marine spatial allocation | fisheries | public good

There is considerable interest in New Zealand in establishing “Customary Management Areas” (taiāpure and mātaitai) and Marine Reserves to support Māori cultural practices and restore declining biodiversity and fish stocks. Allocation of near-shore marine areas for these management systems potentially benefits the larger public, but it has often been vigorously opposed by recreational and commercial fishers. This paper reports estimates of the relative values held by the public toward four potentially conflicting uses of near-shore marine areas. These estimates come from a web-based choice survey completed by 1055 respondents recruited from throughout New Zealand. The response rate was especially high at 60%. We present results weighted to the characteristics of the population and test the results against a variety of well-known sources of survey bias. Scenario development suggests that some reallocation of near-shore marine areas to any of the management systems under discussion alternative to the status quo is likely to yield a welfare gain. A combination of marine reserves and taiāpure is most preferred. The exercise supports the use of discrete choice experiments to provide crucial information about difficult-to-quantify public values for aspects of management of near-shore marine areas, such as proposed taiāpure, mātaitai, or marine reserves.
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