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Valuation of environmental improvements in a specially protected marine area: A choice experiment approach in Gocek Bay, Turkey

Can, Ozge
Alp, Emre
Although the Gocek Bay area was declared as a specially protected area by General Directorate of Natural Assets Protection, the region is threatened because of pollution resulting from increased boat tourism and lack of efficient policies. Extensive measures are being planned in order to protect the region. Coastal management requires the use of technical, social political and economic tools to create a comprehensive management strategy. For environmental investments, it is necessary that benefits and the costs of environmental improvements should be identified in monetary terms in order to determine the feasibility of the investments. The aim of this study is to determine the benefits of the management alternatives to improve environmental quality in Gocek Bay to aid decision makers. In this study, the environmental benefits that can be obtained with improved water quality and restored marine ecosystem were calculated using the Choice Experiment Method, a non-market valuation technique. Data were analyzed using Multinomial Logit Model and the results showed that, local residents and tourists are willing to pay 18 TL/month and 16.6 TL/tour, respectively for improvements in water quality. For improvements in marine life, local residents are willing to pay 14.8 TL/month and tourists are willing to pay 11.2 TL/tour. With this study, it has been seen that the results obtained will pave the way for new policies and measures against the deterioration of the marine environment of Gocek Bay.