Nature Value

About Nature Value


The coastal environment provides many goods and services such as food, coastal protection, and recreational opportunities. The access to the coast for recreation has been abundant and unrestricted to people living in Norway, and the population makes extensive use of the coastal zone (CZ) for recreation.

In 2007 67% participated in bathing, 45% in fishing, and 40% in boating or sailing. These activities are part of the use values local inhabitants attach to the CZ. In addition there may be non-use values.

The industrial (commercial) activities in the CZ are increasing. Climate change, implying a rise in average sea temperatures, will make the coast along Northern Norway relatively more attractive for aquaculture. New prospects for oil and gas development in the Norwegian economic zone are to an increasing degree located off the North-Norwegian coast. Finally; marine fishing tourism is seen as one of the most important growth industries, especially in small rural communities along the Norwegian coast.

One of the recreational oppertunities the coastal environment provides is kayaking. Photo: Ernst Kruger

Content of project

The working hypotheses of this project are:

  1. Local inhabitants attach use and non-use values to the marine resources in the CZ
  2. The local population’s valuation of marine resources in the CZ has significance for the outcome of a cost-benefit-analysis regarding the use of these marine resources

In round one we will implement a traditional mail or web-based survey, encompassing a choice experiment (CE). From a population, consisting of all inhabitants in Northern Norway aged 18-80 years, we will draw a sample of 3,500 (about 1% of the population) which is representative with respect to age, gender, place of living, and household size. The questionnaire will contain questions regarding which CZ recreational activities people participate in at least once a year, and the frequency for each activity.

Using recreational fishing as an example we will use choice sets to derive information on people’s preferences, including willingness-to-pay (WTP). As part of the survey the participants will be asked about their WTP for recreational activities other than fishing. We will also ask the hypothetical question whether people, if they do not actively make use of the CZ and the marine resources, still would be willing to contribute monetary to keep the CZ and its resources freely available for local inhabitants.

As part of the large scale survey we will ask whether the participants are willing to take part in a second round of the survey. In round two we construct 5-6 geographically stratified sub-samples of 15-20 participants for implementation of a deliberative monetary valuation (DMV) survey. The DMV surveys include arranging group meetings where the participants will be given the opportunity to discuss the content of the questionnaire (from the large scale survey) with other participants and to ask questions regarding the background and aim of the survey.

First, this process yields the opportunity to compare the estimated WTP when deliberation is part of the data gathering process and not, i.e. to compare the “warm glow” contribution, and the expressed social WTP for the good under consideration. Second, it also yields the possibility for the participants to agree upon (negotiate) a common value. Such a value can be seen as a citizens’ valuation as derived by a citizen’s jury, and is recommended to be applied in cases of superior social importance. 

Whale safari - a new and exiting use of nature. Photo: Jannike Falk-Petersen

Use of project results

To demonstrate the applicability of the data on local inhabitants’ valuation of the CZ and its marine resources, we will use an ongoing conflict in the municipality Vestvågøy (Nappstraumen) in the Lofoten islands.

Due to increases in the activity of the fishing tourism industry, recreational fishing from local inhabitants and the commercial fishing industry, the pressure on local stocks of halibut and cod has increased. Worries about the state of both stocks have caused local and national authorities to suggest efforts to restrict the harvest pressure. This includes restricting the industrial as well as the private fishing activities. Especially the local inhabitants are negative regarding restrictions on their own recreational fishing activities, whereas it is far more accepted to put restrictions on the fishing tourism industry. 

Fishing is also one of the recreational activities nature has to offer. Photo: Ine Mellemstrand

Ansvarlig for siden: Aanesen, Margrethe
Sist oppdatert: 30.12.2021 12:27