The economic values of marine parks

In 2004, the NSW Marine Parks Authority commissioned Hassall & Associates to identify the types of economic values and impacts associated with NSW marine parks.

The study reviewed relevant literature and identified economic models to estimate the value of uses of marine parks; and the direct and flow-on impacts of marine park visitor and management expenditure. The study also assessed the availability of information and identified processes for collection of new data.

Summary of findings

The study recommended that economic values and impacts associated with marine parks should be measured in terms of consumer and producer surplus, net costs to government and the direct and flow-on effects (multipliers) on regional economies. The study emphasised that the true economic value of marine parks is the marginal change in the economic value of marine park uses under marine park designation compared to under no designation.

The study suggested that considerable biological data would be needed to define the ‘with’ and ‘without’ marine park scenarios. While a number of NSW agencies currently collect some of this information, the remaining data gaps suggest scope for further surveys.