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Measuring the economic effects of sea level rise on shore fishing


In this paper we develop estimates of the economic effects of sea level rise on marine recreational shore fishing in North Carolina, USA. The relationship between angler behavior and spatial differences in beach width is estimated using the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey and geospatial data. We exploit the empirical relationship between beach width and fishing site choice by simulating the effects of sea level rise on angler site choice. We find that reductions in beach width negatively affect the quality and number of fishing trips even as anglers adapt by using piers and bridges. Welfare losses are potentially substantial, ranging up 39% of the total value of marine shore fishing in North Carolina.

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The authors thank Joel Smith, David Chapman, Michael Hanemann, Sasha Mackler and several anonymous reviewers for guidance and comments on this research. This research was supported by the National Commission on Energy Policy and the University of North Carolina Research Competitiveness Fund.

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Correspondence to John C. Whitehead.

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Whitehead, J.C., Poulter, B., Dumas, C.F. et al. Measuring the economic effects of sea level rise on shore fishing. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 14, 777 (2009).

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  • Economic benefits
  • Marine recreational fishing
  • Travel cost method
  • Climate change
  • Sea level rise