Economic impacts of marine ecological change

Review and recent contributions of the VECTORS project on European marine waters

Rolf A. Groeneveld*, Heleen Bartelings, Tobias Börger, Francesco Bosello, Erik Buisman, Elisa Delpiazzo, Fabio Eboli, Jose A. Fernandes, Katell G. Hamon, Caroline Hattam, Maria Loureiro, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Joanna Piwowarczyk, Femke E. Schasfoort, Sarah L. Simons, Adam N. Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Marine ecological change is likely to have serious potential economic consequences for coastal economies all over the world. This article reviews the current literature on the economic impacts of marine ecological change, as well as a number of recent contributions to this literature carried out under the VECTORS project. We focus on three main types of change, namely invasive alien species; outbreak-forming species, such as jellyfish and toxic algae; and gradual changes in species distribution and productivity. The case studies available in the literature demonstrate that the impacts of invasions and outbreaks on fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism can potentially amount to several tens of millions of dollars each year in some regions. Moreover, stated preference studies suggest a substantial impact on coastal tourism and non-use values that is likely not visible in case studies of specific outbreak events. Climate-driven gradual changes in distribution and productivity of commercial fish stocks will have an impact on fisheries, although these impacts are likely to be overshadowed by much larger changes in prices of seafood and fuel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-163
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018



  • Algal blooms
  • Climatic changes
  • Economic analysis
  • Fisheries
  • Introduced species
  • Recreation

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