CCMAR Seminars: The value of marine ecotourism in the open sea: The Azores case-study
18th Obctober 2017, at 1:30 pm
Amph. -1.8 (bdg 8)
The value of marine ecotourism in the open sea: The Azores case-study
(FBC - CCMAR)
Economic valuations of ecosystems services are politically important to inform management approaches to resolving the needs of different marine stakeholders and conservation drivers. Recreational uses of marine ecosystems contribute to human wellbeing and generate significant economic benefits to local economies yet a comprehensive understanding of their socioeconomic importance remains poorly quantified due to a lack of systematic evidence collation. This is even more pronounced when compared with other traditional marine uses (i.e. commercial fisheries), which are the target of monitoring programs that span several decades. The lack of comprehensive information on marine recreational uses means that these are poorly represented when defining sustainable and integrated management plans. This study presents an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of non-extractive recreational uses closely associated with marine biodiversity (i.e. whale watching, diving and big game fishing) in the Azores archipelago (northeast Atlantic). Data were collected through a series of questionnaire surveys of the clients and managers of marine-tourism businesses in the Azorean islands. The marine ecotourism industry in the Azores comprises c. of 50 marine operators, operating 102 boats daily in the summer months and supporting a total of 367 jobs, including 175 permanent 184 and seasonal jobs. Our results suggest that every year c. 57341 tourists engaged in marine ecotourism activities generating approximately 70€ million in total expenditures to the regional economy. Results also indicate that such revenues are comparable to that of commercial fisheries for the same region. These values add a new dimension to arguments in support of marine conservation and call attention to the comprehensive integration of marine ecotourism activities in management plans.
Adriana Ressurreição has completed her PhD degree at the University of the Azores in 2012. Primarily a biologist with interests in socio-economic issues, her work has been dedicated to examine people's views, perceptions and values related to the benefits flowing from marine ecosystems. Her main interests include stated preference methods, market based-valuations, participatory approaches, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, marine-based tourism and marine conservation. The research developed during the last few years is now coming to fruition and she has completed data collection for several socio-economic surveys. Some of these studies have recently been published in peer reviewed international journals and several others are currently submitted or in preparation. She is a post-doctoral researcher MARE where she has been coordinating a project on the valuation of socioeconomic impacts associated to marine ecotourism in the Azores. The work developed during this 3 years project, allowed creating long lasting synergies among different stakeholders (including marine operators, decision makers, investigators, etc.) and implementing sharing data practices. At the moment she is based in CCMAR which is a partner institution to her postdoctoral plan.