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Abstract

This manuscript summarizes a total of 12 peer-reviewed studies, published from 1978 to 2001, reporting 32 separate estimates for the disaggregate2 value of hunting and fishing services provided by coastal and non-coastal wetlands. Estimates ranged across three orders of magnitude and are highly dependent on the specific geographic site providing the service, the target species of the hunting and fishing activity, and the measurement technique. Considering only coastal zone wetlands across all study categories, the value of wetlands to single-target hunting and fishing (oysters, menhaden, etc.) ranged from $1.05/acre/year to $663.74/acre/year, with a mean and median of $113.95/acre/year and $10.03/acre/year, respectively. Considering only coastal zone wetlands across all study categories, the value of wetlands to aggregate hunting or fishing (both commercial and recreational) ranged from $16.76/acre/year to $1,025.03/acre/year, with a mean and median of $233.37/acre/year and $106.54/acre/year, respectively. By comparison, the range of reported estimates of willingness-to-pay (WTP) values for recreational hunting and fishing services were somewhat more narrowly bounded across studies, ranging $83.99 to $616.46, with a mean and median of $303.67 and $207.79, respectively. The importance of a wetlands geographic location, its relationship to the target fishery or animal species, and the differing relationships with commercial and recreational consumptive users suggests that coastal wetland benefits need to be carefully examined within a spatially disaggregated context.

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