[MARMAM] New paper on the non-consumptive economic value of cetaceans

Jazel Ouled-Cheikh Bonan jazelouled at gmail.com
Fri Jan 12 07:03:18 PST 2024

Dear MARMAM subscribers,

My colleagues and I are pleased to announce the publication of our research

Ouled-Cheikh J., Giménez J., Verborgh P., Jiménez-Torres C., Gauffier P.,
Esteban R., de Stephanis R. 2023. The non-consumptive economic value of
wildlife: the case of three cetacean species. Sci. Mar. 87(4): e077.


The conservation of wildlife is one of the most pressing issues in the
current times, but wildlife conservation economic values have often been
largely ignored due to an absence of market prices, as setting an economic
value on biodiversity or whole ecosystems can be challenging. Nevertheless,
valuing wildlife can be of great significance to improve decision-making in
the conservation field, as it can provide a complementary perspective based
on economic principles. Whale-watching provides an opportunity for the
economic valuation of wildlife. Specifically, it offers a framework in
which the economic revenue allows the economic valuation of the targeted
cetaceans to be estimated through the direct and indirect expenditure of
the tourists who purchase whale-watching tours. Here, we performed an
economic analysis based on population abundances of the three main species
targeted by the whale-watching companies in the Strait of Gibraltar
(Spain): long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), common dolphins
(Delphinus delphis) and killer whales (Orcinus orca). These species
generated a total annual income of €4,089,056, €1,876,833, and €505,389,
respectively, and each individual would generate an average of €14,048,
€951, and €36,099 each year, respectively. Incorporating life expectancy,
this corresponded to a total population value of €112,426,185, €16,685,147,
and €19,171,107, respectively, over their lifetime. These values provide an
idea of the potential contribution of cetaceans to the local economy but
only represent their non-consumptive value based on tourism. Our results
reinforce the idea that a sustainable, high-quality whale-watching culture,
under ACCOBAMS High-Quality Whale-Watching requirements, should be promoted
to ensure a sustainable industry, stable economic income and the viability
of cetacean populations in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The article is available from the publisher's website (
https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina) or by
request at jazelouled at gmail.com

Best regards,

Jazel Ouled-Cheikh
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