Social and Economic Assessment of Ocean Acidification- the case of cold water coral

Social and Economic Assessment of Ocean Acidification- the case of cold water coral

Institutt: 
Norut
Type publikasjon: 
Rapport
År: 
2013
Volum: 
2/2017
Management decisions must be taken despite large knowledge gaps regarding the impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. This report presents a framework for economic assessment and valuation of ocean acidification and its effects, illustrating how management can be informed by knowledge about ecosystem services and associated values. This can form the basis for decisions on adaptation or mitigation policies.
 
We give an overview of different management options. Application of the precautionary principle is also discussed.
The case of cold water corals is used to illustrate how the framework for economic valuation of ocean acidification can be applied. We identified five types of information needed to assess the socio-economic impact of ocean acidification on cold water corals and evaluated the status of knowledge of each of these types. It was concluded that the knowledge gaps made it impossible to assess the full impact of ocean acidification on cold water corals both qualitatively and quantitatively.
 
Due to the large uncertainties, expert opinion elicitations were used to determine likely direct physical, chemical and biological impacts of ocean acidification on cold water corals, resulting impacts on ecosystem functions and services, and possible mitigation and adaptation measures. The experts used a traffic light approach to assess their confidence regarding their suggestions. We sum up by recommending which knowledge gaps are most urgent to fill for a reasonable social and economic assessment of the effects of ocean acidification on CWCs.
 
While the methodology to use expert opinion for assessing impacts in a high-uncertainty setting needs to be refined, this study was valuable in identifying a framework for assessment to identify key knowledge gaps and give input to management. The experts also expressed that it was a useful exercise for them to see the relevance of their basic research into management.