An estimate of the economic value of southern Maine tidal wetlands to the Maine commercial groundfish industry

Hayes, Peter S.
Michael Simpson, MS
Department of Environmental Studies
A brief review of economic valuation and the ecology of commercial groundfish species is followed by an estimation of the marginal value of southern Maine tidal wetlands to various commercial groundfish species. Scientific, fishery-independent, constant-effort trawl results are used to derive the fishery production function variation with wetland area for Maine harvest of seven commercial species and five categories of tidal wetland. The production function derivative is combined with pricing information to estimate a marginal value of wetland area for each fish species-wetland type pair, with results between $0.0/m² and $14.31/m² (2003 U.S. dollars/square meter). Discussion addresses selected aspects of the study and extension of marginal to total value estimates.

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