Economic impacts of jellyfish blooms on coastal recreation in a UK coastal town and potential management options

A. Kennerley, L.E. Wood, T. Luisetti, S. Ferrini, I. Lorenzoni

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Abstract

Jellyfish bloom events in the Northeast Atlantic (NEA) are perceived to be increasing, based on a rise in reports of their interactions with human activities, including coastal recreation. However, few studies have assessed the potential impact of bloom events on coastal recreation in the NEA. This article reports findings of a questionnaire carried out with beach users to assess the possible impacts and potential management implications of an increase in jellyfish blooms at St Ives, Cornwall which is a popular seaside resort in the UK and was selected as the case study location. Impact to coastal recreation was estimated based on a revealed preferences valuation of beach visits and beach recreation that occurred using a travel cost model and its effect, based on projected change in overall visit patterns under jellyfish bloom scenarios. Under a scenario where blooms of jellyfish stingers cause beach closures, 42% of respondents reported that they would avoid the St Ives coasts entirely, resulting in an estimated use loss of £11,182.50 per day. Under a second scenario, where blooms of non-stingers occur on open beaches, 13% of visitors would avoid the beaches and coast, resulting in an estimated daily use value loss of £3461.25. Through an estimated valuation of willingness of beach users to donate to a hypothetical bloom management scheme, 40% of respondents stated that they would be willing to contribute to anti-jellyfish nets to limit the impact of blooms, with a projected benefit of £6000. Results suggest that jellyfish blooms could cause significant impact to coastal recreation in a UK seaside town. However, jellyfish management schemes have the potential to mitigate some of the impact. Further studies are required to determine whether the local impacts estimated in the present study are indicative of regional, UK-wide recreational behaviour change and losses in response to bloom events.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106284
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Volume227
Early online date22 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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