Economic Benefits to Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Fishermen From Water Pollution Control and Habitat Restoration

by Eric E. Anderson, Old Dominion Univ, Norfolk, VA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


Water pollution, primarily by herbicides and nutrients contained in agricultural runoff and in waste treatment plant effluent, appears to be a major cause of the decline in abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation (mostly seagrasses) in Chesapeake Bay since the 1960's. Since seagrass appears to play an important role in sustaining the biological productivity of the Bay, one likely result of this pollution is a lower level of annual harvest of blue crabs in the Bay than would otherwise occur. This paper describes a method of estimating the magnitude of economic benefits which would accrue to Chesapeake blue crab fishermen if seagrass beds were restored to former levels of abundance and productivity through a combination of pollution abatement and replanting.

Subject Headings: Waste treatment plants | Water treatment plants | Water pollution | Fish management | Pesticides | Nutrients | Irrigation water | Aquatic habitats

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