Non-market economic values and the South-east Marine Region
Prepared by Hassall & Associates Pty. Ltd. for the National Oceans Office, 2001
About the report
The South-east Marine Region, comprises waters off Victoria, Tasmania, Macquarie Island, southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia, which extend from the low water mark out to the 200 nautical mile limit of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Region includes areas of the continental shelf beyond the EEZ, that are claimed by Australia under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (NOO 2001a). The area is depicted in Figure 1.
The total area of the Region exceeds two million square kilometres, encompassing three large ecosystems (NOO 2001b):
- Sub-antarctic (South Tasman Rise south of Tasmania)
The natural resources and oceanographic and biological services of the Region support a range of stakeholders, including the commercial fishing and tourism industries, endangered species, such as the blue whale, and educational sectors involved in research. The marine environment also contributes generally to human welfare through the functions of climate and atmospheric gas regulation.
These goods and services have value to society whether or not they are actually traded in markets. It is the purpose of this discussion paper to explore the concepts of non market economic values associated with environmental goods and services, with particular reference to the South-east Marine Region. The paper provides:
- an overview of the concepts associated with economic values of natural areas
- a detailed examination of the non-market economic values associated with the South-east Marine Region
- a brief discussion of the applications of economic values in decision making
- an overview of the economic instruments that may be used to protect the values identified