Review, Concept, and Synthesis

Marine Biology

, Volume 160, Issue 8, pp 1773-1787

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Towards improved socio-economic assessments of ocean acidification’s impacts

  • Nathalie HilmiAffiliated withCentre Scientifique de MonacoIAEA ELLEA CSM-CNRS 647 ‘Biosensib’ Email author 
  • , Denis AllemandAffiliated withCentre Scientifique de MonacoLEA CSM-CNRS 647 ‘Biosensib’
  • , Sam DupontAffiliated withDepartment of Biological and Environmental Sciences, The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, Kristineberg, University of Gothenburg
  • , Alain SafaAffiliated withIPAG Lab
  • , Gunnar HaraldssonAffiliated withFisheries Policy Division, OECD
  • , Paulo A. L. D. NunesAffiliated withThe Mediterranean Science Commission, CIESM
  • , Chris MooreAffiliated withNational Center for Environmental Economics, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • , Caroline HattamAffiliated withPlymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place
  • , Stéphanie ReynaudAffiliated withCentre Scientifique de Monaco
    • , Jason M. Hall-SpencerAffiliated withPlymouth University
    • , Maoz FineAffiliated withBar Ilan University
    • , Carol TurleyAffiliated withPlymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place
    • , Ross JeffreeAffiliated withC3, Faculty of Science, School of the Environment, University of Technology
    • , James OrrAffiliated withLaboratoire Des Sciences Du Climat et de l’Environnement CEA-CNRS-UVSQ
    • , Philip L. MundayAffiliated withARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef StudiesSchool of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University
    • , Sarah R. CooleyAffiliated withWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, economists and social scientists. But because ocean acidification is a new research area, significant knowledge gaps are preventing economists from estimating its welfare impacts. For instance, economic data on the impact of ocean acidification on significant markets such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism are very limited (if not non-existent), and non-market valuation studies on this topic are not yet available. Our paper summarizes the current understanding of future OA impacts and sets out what further information is required for economists to assess socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification. Our aim is to provide clear directions for multidisciplinary collaborative research.