Assessing the Economic Contribution of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Sargasso Sea

Assessing the Economic Contribution of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Sargasso Sea

Primary Country: United Kingdom
Ecosystem: open water
Sample Value Estimates:
(a) Approximately US$66 million for 2012 in gross revenues are directly attributable to the Sargasso Sea through eels. These gross revenues are the highest in Europe - US$59 million - and in North America - $7 million. (b) Around US$99 million for 2012 of gross revenues are directly attributable to the Sargasso Sea through commercial fisheries - relying on fish species other than eels. Developing countries are the largest beneficiaries. Sumaila et al. 2013 found that the gross revenues associated with selected Atlantic tuna and billfish exceeds US$1 billion for 2009. (c) Whale watching in Bermuda annually generates US$34,000 for 2012 in gross revenues attributable to the Sargasso Sea. Whale watching in the Atlantic, which is potentially linked to the Sargasso Sea, generates more than $490 million annually. The dependence of these revenues on the health of the Sargasso Sea is unquantified. The consumer surplus associated with watching whales that may potentially depend on the Sargasso Sea may be important and on the order of $100 million annually. (d) Revenues from turtle watching along Atlantic coasts are potentially linked to the Sargasso Sea. More than $15 million annually in direct and indirect expenditures by turtle watchers were found for nine sites in Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa for turtles that may depend on the Sargasso Sea. The fraction of these expenditures that can be tied to the condition of the Sargasso Sea ecosystem has not been quantified. (e) Some $12 million is spent annually by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Bermuda benefits from the direct expenditures associated with research in the Sargasso Sea; other nations and the world benefit from the final goods and services produced by research discoveries and new knowledge.
Methodology: net values or gross revenues
Region: Americas and Europe / Sargasso Sea

Publication information

Pendleton, L. F. KrowickiP. StrosserJ. Hallett-Murdoch “Assessing the Economic Contribution of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Sargasso Sea” NI R 14-05. Durham, NC: Duke University., 2014

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