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Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area

Börger, Tobias; Hattam, Caroline; Burdon, Daryl; Atkins, Jonathan P.; Austen, Melanie C.


Tobias Börger

Caroline Hattam

Daryl Burdon

Melanie C. Austen


Increasing anthropogenic pressure in the offshore marine environment highlights the need for improved management and conservation of offshore ecosystems. This study scrutinises the applicability of a discrete choice experiment to value the expected benefits arising from the conservation of an offshore sandbank in UK waters. The valuation scenario refers to the UK part of the Dogger Bank, in the southern North Sea, and is based on real-world management options for fisheries, wind farms and marine protection currently under discussion for the site. It is assessed to what extent the general public perceive and value conservation benefits arising from an offshore marine protected area. The survey reveals support for marine conservation measures despite the general public's limited prior knowledge of current marine planning. Results further show significant values for an increase in species diversity, the protection of certain charismatic species and a restriction in the spread of invasive species across the site. Implications for policy and management with respect to commercial fishing, wind farm construction and nature conservation are discussed.


Börger, T., Hattam, C., Burdon, D., Atkins, J. P., & Austen, M. C. (2014). Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area. Ecological economics : the journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics, 108, 229-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 19, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 8, 2014
Publication Date 2014-12
Deposit Date May 5, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2015
Journal Ecological economics
Print ISSN 0921-8009
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 108
Pages 229-241
Keywords Discrete choice experiment; Environmental valuation; Dogger Bank; Offshore MPA; Marine ecosystem services; North Sea
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a copy of an article published in Ecological economics 2014, v.108 which can be found at:


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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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