Australians value reducing the risk of marine pests on the environment: new research

ABARES has today released An Assessment of the non-market value of reducing the risk of marine pest incursions in Australia’s waters, which analyses public sentiment on the protection of the Australian environment from the impacts of new exotic marine pests.

ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said this new research shows that Australians place significant value on the health of our marine environment.

“This survey of over 2,800 people clearly shows that the public support action to protect Australia’s waters from exotic marine pests,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“The research finds that the Australian public are willing to back their opinion up with actions. Individual households on average would be willing to contribute $16.29 a year—or between $22 million and $58.8 million a year as a nation—to protect one species.

“Individual households on average are also willing to contribute $9.25 per 250km of coastline—or between $12.5 million and $33.4 million as a nation—to secure a 50 per cent chance of protecting our marine environments from exotic pests.

“These exotic marine species typically make their way to Australian via boats and ballast water, posing threats to commercial fishers, aquaculture, port infrastructure and the environment.

“Assessing citizens willingness to pay can inform the Australian Government’s efforts to develop and implement a national approach to manage marine biosecurity risks of biofouling in Australian waters.

“It also supports implementing the International Marine Organisation (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention.

“This report finds that preventative policies will not only be essential to reducing the chance of marine pest incursions, they will have both economic and environmental benefits.”

The full An Assessment of the non-market value of reducing the risk of marine pest incursions in Australia’s waters report is available on the ABARES website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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