Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara recently conducted a study to determine the economic value of the critically endangered giant sea bass. The giant sea bass was overfished in the 1900s and the population collapsed in the 70s. As a result, the species is critically endangered. While it can be found on the menu at some restaurants, it is illegal to fish. However, individuals that are accidentally caught in gillnets are allowed to be sold to restaurants and fish markets.
Researchers at UCSB conducted a study to show the economic value of live fish vs. dead fish and published the results in the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystem. The giant sea bass is the largest bony fish along the California coast and is also a flagship species for scuba divers in the state of California.
The results of the study showed that the economic value from recreational scuba divers seeking out encounters with the giant sea bass greatly outweighs the economic value from commercial fishing. While commercial fishing brings in approximately $12,600 annually, the revenue from scuba divers far exceeds that figure, at $2.3 million annually. From an economic standpoint, the study goes to show the fish are worth more alive than dead.
Read more here.
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