Bio-economic analysis of the effects on Great Lakes recreational fishing from new aquatic invaders, A

Malm, Elizabeth
Aquatic invasive species are organisms that are non-native to a particular region and often become introduced by human intervention, a severe problem in the Great Lakes since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway 1959. Invasive species decrease environmental quality because they alter the native ecosystem and can often decrease the biomass of important sport fisheries. Thus, invasive species reduce demand for economic "goods" that depend on perceived environmental quality, such as sport fishing trips. This paper outlines and analyzes the effects of aquatic invasive species on the demand for recreational fishing trips in Great Lakes waters. A brief historical overview of the introduction of invasive species in the Great Lakes is presented, followed by their ecological and economic impacts on sport fishing. Since sport fishing on the Great Lakes does not require an entrance fee, trips are not traditional economic goods that are traded in the market. To assess their value, nonmarket valuation techniques are applied using fishing catch data and expenditures associated with sport fishing in the Great Lakes states to model consumer demand for sport fishing trips. Finally, an estimate of the economic loss due to reduced recreational fishing demand from aquatic invaders is presented.
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