This report was originally published on Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.


Highlights:

  • The provisioning marine ecosystem services of fisheries and aquaculture is estimated to be worth €473 million per annum to all fleets and producers operating in Irish waters.
  • Seaweed harvesting is valued at €4 million and aquaculture at €150 million.
  • The regulating and maintenance ecosystem services of carbon sequestration are valued at €815 million per annum, waste assimilation services €317 million and coastal defence services of €11.5 million.
  • The cultural ecosystem services of scientific and educational services are valued at €11.5 million, and the added value per annum to housing stock of being at the coast (aesthetic services) is valued at €68 million. On an annual basis, recreational services provided by the marine ecosystems are estimated to have an economic value of €1.7 billion.
  • Even though not all of the ecosystem services provided by the marine environment can be monetarised, the report indicates that the value of those that can is substantial.

“Abstract: This technical report demonstrates the data sources and methods that can be used to estimate the value of a number of coastal and marine ecosystem service benefits. In particular, the study estimated the value of waste assimilation services, coastal defence services, carbon sequestration services, recreational services, offshore and inshore capture fisheries, aquaculture and seaweed harvesting, and the contribution that proximity to the coast can make to the value of residential property.

These ecosystem services occur at multiple scales, from climate regulation and carbon sequestration at the global scale, to food provision, marine recreation opportunities and waste treatment, at local and regional scales. By categorising coastal, marine and estuarine ecosystems and linking them to reliable estimates of ecosystem service value flows, this project will assist decision makers with responsibility for marine and coastal zone management as they attempt to manage developments in a manner that maximises the delivery of ecosystem service benefit value to society while minimising forgone market opportunities. The valuation of the identified ecosystem service benefits is accomplished using secondary sources of information. Guidelines for undertaking an ecosystem services assessment are also provided in an appendix…”

Read on and access the full report at: Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.