PICO data gathering complete
In the PICO project, one of the things we want to understand is how management of invasive species can be improved by explicitly considering how different stakeholders value, or have a vested interest in, different aspects of the management strategy.
How to manage invasive species is inherently difficult. For example, consider the Red King Crab. The commercial value of the species is high and its appearance in Norwegian waters has contributed substantially to livelihoods in coastal towns in Eastern Finnmark.
However, the crab eats almost everything it comes across, and without natural predators to keep it in check, it has the potential to severely alter the ecosystems it moves into. Management then must balance economic opportunities with protecting the natural environment.
The economic benefits of fishing the Red King Crab are readily visible and felt keenly by the local communities participating in the fishery. The economic cost of a degraded natural environment, on the other hand, remains invisible.
To make these values visible and to estimate the value of the natural environment, we developed a stated choice experiment where respondents are asked to choose between different management scenarios described by how each scenario will affect how far the crab is likely to spread, the impact on bottom-living species and the quality of the environment in the ocean floor, and the cost to taxpayers.
By analyzing people’s choices, we can determine how they trade off between the different outcomes of the management strategies, and by extension, how much they are willing to pay to stop the crab from spreading further or how much they would be willing to pay to reduce the impact on bottom-living species.
The data gathering took place in March 2022 following extensive pretesting and development using expert workshops, focus groups, personal interviews, pre-testing and a pilot survey. In total, more than 2 500 people answered the survey .
Erlend will present initial results from the survey and stated choice experiment at the International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET) conference in Vigo 18. – 22. July.