Marine Ecosystem Services

Marine ecosystem services in Nordic marine waters and the Baltic Sea - possibilities for valuation

image of Marine Ecosystem Services

Marine Ecosystem Services (MARECOS) is an interdisciplinary study that provides relevant information for national, Nordic and international ecosystem services assessments and valuation in the implementation of marine policy.

This report aims to provide suggestions on how ecosystem condition assessments, being based on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), and the HELCOM indicator based assessments for the Baltic Sea, could be used for the assessment of ecosystem services.

By describing the potentials of linking data and knowledge describing the status of marine ecosystems and water quality to the values of the services and goods provided, the report offers useful information for policy and decision makers in the domain of the marine and aquatic policies around the Baltic and in the Nordic countries.



Case study on seaside recreation in Denmark and Sweden

The Marecos case study is a pilot study for a larger valuation study, to be conducted in Sweden and Denmark. The main survey will assess the value of coastal recreation as an ecosystem service, and investigate how the value of this ES is affected by changes in water quality, litter, congestion and substitute recreational sites. The method choice experiment is chosen for the pilot and subsequently also for the main survey, to allow for an analysis of how several attributes of the ecosystem service “recreation” influence the value of recreation. This method also allows for the assessment of marginal changes. By linking the stated preference method choice experiment and the travel costs as payment vehicle the choice situation is as close to reality as we can come, taking into consideration that the scenarios represent hypothetical changes of the ecosystem service provided. In the case study focus is on highlighting the potentials and difficulties associated with the valuation of coastal recreation as an ecosystem service. Furthermore the focus is on presenting results regarding the preferences of Swedish and Danish populations for use of coastal areas for recreation, i.e. quantitative knowledge about this ecosystem service. The chapter presents and discusses the pilot test results in terms of the descriptive statistics of attitudes to water quality and recreational habits among the sampled Swedish and Danish respondents. The willingness to pay estimates resulting from the pilot study are not presented here however because the survey design will be changed in the main survey. The results from the pilot study indicate that Danes and Swedes generally seem to have a very positive perception of the water quality in coastal areas, and that they perceive coastal areas as important for their recreational choices. The results indicate similarities regarding the views on water quality, while the sample results indicate different habits in terms of how long the respondents travel for recreation.


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