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Protected Species Economics Research

NOAA Fisheries protected species economic research includes protected species valuation studies, benefit-cost analyses, and cost effectiveness analyses. This research contributes to legislative and administrative mandates for cost benefit analyses of regulatory actions.

A current focus area for NOAA Fisheries is conducting protected species valuation studies. These studies enable the Agency to assess the national benefits derived from threatened and endangered marine species, including fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds. Economic values for protected species can be used to assess the benefits obtained from conservation and recovery efforts, and provide a useful benchmark for valuing NOAA’s protected species research and recovery efforts. Using a multi-species valuation framework NOAA Fisheries has published values for eight different marine species and is currently estimating values for an additional eight species.

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Cost & Benefits


NOAA Fisheries estimates that Americans are willing to pay $4.38 billion annually for the recovery of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Read More

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Economic Value


Economics can be used to assess the value (in dollar terms) that people have for preserving a species for future generations regardless of whether they ever view the species or not. These methods are known as non-market valuation. Read More.