The recent establishment of the Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR) presents a unique opportunity to analyze the economic implications of using zonification as a tool to manage conflicting claims to a fragile and limited resource. Recognizing that the long-term success of the GMR depends on the cooperation of all of the stakeholders involved, a remarkable feature of the new legislation is that further policy development depends upon analysis of the socio-economic and environmental impacts that the new management regime has on both the users and the ecosystems of the GMR. We consider some of the economic impacts to the residents of Galápagos, and in particular to the fisheries sector, resulting from the use of “no take” zones as a management tool. We develop a simple two-sector fixed labor model to illustrate how the establishment of “no take” zones, which impact the fishing sector, will also affect the tourism sector through both the labor market and biotic mechanisms. Although we find that the establishment of marine refugia passes a rough cost-benefit analysis, we discuss the importance of considering the intertemporal nature of the impacts resulting from the closure of fishing grounds in the GMR when analyzing the economic impacts to the various sectors.


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