[Coral-List] Economic Valuation and market based conservation

Rudy Bonn rudy_bonn at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 3 08:23:23 EDT 2011

I think that we all agree that if you look at the Florida Keys,  being the number one dive destination in the world, the largest charter boat fleet in the world, 2.5 million tourists on an annual basis,  the bucks add up.  The problem is to encourage all these people to practice sustainable use of these resources, often very hard to accomplish.  Lobster mini season is a good example-- people prefer the lobster over the protection of the resource as I have personnaly witnessed people flipping over coral heads just to get to the lobster.  Are people becoming more environmentally aware?  With all the stressors that the coral reefs of the world are facing today, especially climate change, overfishing, and pollution, its dreadful to think that coral reefs could be in danger of extirpation in certain areas by the end of the century.  It seems that when we are on the threshold of ecological disaster, we begin to take notice,  but it many cases its
 already too late.  Do coral reefs have value, of course they do.  Can we drive conservation through market based economics,  I dont know,  too little data.  But we can certainly make people more aware through education and outreach,  money well spent.    

Rudy S Bonn
Director of Marine Projects
Reef Relief
631 Greene Street
Key West, FL 33040

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