The Problem of Evaluating Marine Fishery Habitat

by Douglas W. Lipton, Natl Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '85


Measuring the value of fisheries habitat is made difficult by the fact that the final product, fish, is a common property resource and its non-commercial values (e. g. , recreation, aesthetics) have no directly observable market values. In order to compare conflicting uses of habitat, as well as choose among a number of alternative development activities and recommend mitigation measures it is necessary to have an evaluation methodology. Numerous methodologies have been proposed including the Fish and Wildlife Services's Habitat Evaluation Procedure and the Army Corps of Engineers Habitat Evaluation System. The method of calculation of habitat values should be flexible to accommodate the available data, cost of obtaining data, and complexity of the ecosystem being evaluated.

Subject Headings: Aquatic habitats | Fish management | Ocean engineering | Recreation | Aesthetics | Dispute resolution | Wildlife | Federal government

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