Valuing Complex Natural Resource Systems
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Valuing Complex Natural Resource Systems

The Case of the Lagoon of Venice

Edited by Anna Alberini, Paolo Rosato and Margherita Turvani

In complex natural resource systems, modifications or disruptions tend to affect many and diverse components of the ecological system, settlements and groups of people. This book uses the Lagoon of Venice – a unique natural resource, wildlife habitat, centre of cultural heritage and recreational site – as an example of one such system that has been heavily affected by human activities, including the harvesting of natural resources and industrial production. The contributors explore the Lagoon’s potential for regeneration, examining public policies currently under consideration. The aim of these policies is to restore island coastlines and marshes, fish stocks, habitat and environmental quality, defend morphology and landscape through the strict control of fishing practices, and to protect the islands from high tides.
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Chapter 7: The Value of Recreational Sport Fishing in the Lagoon of Venice

Valentina Zanatta, Anna Alberini, Paolo Rosato and Alberto Longo


Valentina Zanatta, Anna Alberini, Paolo Rosato and Alberto Longo 7.1 INTRODUCTION The Lagoon of Venice is a site of exceptional interest, due to its distinctive environmental features and unique cultural and social significance.1 It is regarded as a unique hydrological resource and its ecosystem is rich in native plants, animals and marine organisms. As one of the most important wetland sites in the Mediterranean region, the Lagoon of Venice is covered by the European Union’s policy for wetlands preservation. Moreover, conservation of the Lagoon is a priority for the local economy. At this time, however, the Lagoon of Venice is environmentally degraded, due to the industrial pollution from chemical plants and refineries in nearby Porto Marghera, and its fish stocks have been depleted by excessive commercial fishing, an important economic activity for the Venice area and the Veneto region. In addition, biodiversity is endangered by an exotic clam species that was artificially introduced for commercial fishing during the 1980s. The introduction of the tapes philippinarum clam has been blamed for serious changes in the natural lagoon environment, as harvesting this species involves the use of invasive (and illegal) fishing techniques, such as mechanical scrapers, which were eventually prohibited in the lagoon (Pranovi and Giovanardi, 1994; ICRAM, 1999). Public programs are currently under consideration that would seek to restore environmental balance in the Lagoon of Venice by removing pollution and implementing and managing sustainable commercial fishing practices. When examining these programs, economists would suggest that at least some consideration be given...

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