[Coral-List] . Re: $33B Hawaii Reef Economics Value

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue Nov 22 15:43:32 EST 2011

Dear Listers, I did not expect everyone to agree with my last posting 
on the value of the Hawaii coral reef.  Yes it is priceless, what 
ever that means. Don't we all receive a lot of on-line jokes that 
claim to be "priceless."?
     I am reminded that when I worked for USGS and wrote proposals for 
funds to do coral reef studies I always had to justify the work by 
providing a value of the reef I wanted to study.  The value was an 
inflated amount based on the amount of money tourist spent in the 
Florida Keys each year. Those numbers were usually provided by the 
Key West Chamber of Commerce or the Marine Sanctuary and were likely 
inflated to attract more tourist revenue. It always seemed to me that 
what diving tourists appeared to appreciate most was the clear warm 
water that beat the heck out of diving back home.  Because of 
"shifting baselines" few tourist had ever seen the reefs in their pre 
1980s pristine glory to compare it with the present situation. All 
they seemed to care about was that the diving was a lot better than 
diving in that cold dark quarry back in Michigan. Because of this I 
can't help but get a knee-jerk reaction when people put a monetary 
value on a coral reef or anything in nature. I'm sorry if I offended 
anyone. It seems that society is so divided on any issue these days 
that no one agrees on anything. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 

More information about the Coral-List mailing list