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Free Content Beyond Fisheries Enhancement: Artificial Reefs and Ecotourism

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Artificial reefs used as submarine and dive tour sites receive less fishing pressure from the public because the high use patterns by dive tour firms preclude much of the fishing activity. Such reefs when used as part of a non-destructive “eco-tourism” dive package provide significantly greater economic return than when used for commercial fishery purposes. Annual gross revenue from the commercial fishery of one open-access dive tour artificial reef analyzed in this study is 4% of the annual pre-tax profit of dive tours operating on this same reef. Moreover, the daily estimated catch from this reef is equivalent to the estimated annual sustainable yield, suggesting that the fishery is capitalizing on fishes aggregating to the reef rather than in situ production. If the rationale for artificial reef development is economic gain and a viable tourist industry presently exists, reefs deployed for non-consumptive purposes may provide the best use, especially when fishery resources are in a state of decline.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-09-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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