Harmful algal-bloom species (HABs) are invasive exotic species that are primarily introduced in North European waters through ballast water of ships. Some produce important damages to the marine ecosystem such as the red tides that cause a massive destruction of marine living resources, including fish and bottom-living animals. Others are responsible for the production of thick foams with repellent odors and the coloration of the beach water, causing important damages on beach recreation. This article reports a monetary valuation study of a marine protection program. This program focuses on the prevention of HABS along the coastline of the Netherlands. It entails the construction of a ballast water disposal treatment in the Rotterdam harbor and the implementation of a monitoring program of the water quality in the open sea along the North-Holland beaches. The valuation study is based on a questionnaire undertaken at Zandvoort, a famous Dutch beach resort. The economic value of the marine protection program includes non-market benefits associated with beach recreation, human health and marine ecosystem impacts. Both contingent-valuation and travel-cost methods are used. These valuation techniques have not yet been applied to value HABs damages. The valuation results indicate that the protection program makes sense from an economic perspective as long as its cost is, in any case, less than 225 million euro, and possibly less than 326 million euro, depending on how survey refusals are dealt with.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Environmental and Resource Economics|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|