Panama, fisheries, ecosystem services, valuation, environment, politics, environmental politics, economic, fishing, management, policy
Global demand of fish for consumption in developing nations is expected to continue to rise in the near future, putting pressure on stocks that are already overexploited. In the territorial waters of Panama there is a constant struggle between commercial vessels with high yield, subsistence fishermen trying to feed a remote village, and ecosystem services struggling to sustain themselves. These services are the direct and indirect benefits received by the population in the form of food, raw materials, nutrient cycling, and disaster regulation. They are being degraded by illegal and unregulated fishing, bottom trawlers raking the benthos and destroying coral reefs, longlines responsible for thousands of sea turtle and bird deaths, and purse seines that decrease species biodiversity in fish stock. While the government has passed laws to reduce the environmental impact the industrial fisheries have, they lack effective enforcement. An alternative approach is to place monetary values on ecosystem services to show the monetary value of previously unrepresented natural capital. Application of this method to fisheries management can educate policy makers on the economic losses to expect if overfishing of the seas continues and provide the economic imperative to lessen impacts on oceanic ecosystems. Through comparative analysis it is shown that the market value of all fish catch in Panamanian waters is less than that which is provided by the ecosystem services in the area. Open ocean and coral reef ecosystem services provide a combined $103 billion per year while the highest grossing fish catch in Panamanian waters managed to net $356 million in 2004. There is an economic and political imperative to protect and promote sustainability of not only the fish stock, but all ecosystem services in the ocean.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Political Science; Environmental Politics
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Glassner, David, "Go Fish: An Analysis Of Economic Rents In Panamanian Fisheries Against Ecosystem Service Values" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2534.