Shark-diving tourism as a financing mechanism for shark conservation strategies in Malaysia
- Subject Areas
- Aquaculture, Fisheries and Fish Science, Conservation Biology, Science Policy, Natural Resource Management
- Marine protected area, socio-economic valuation, shark sanctuary, enforcement, Semporna
- © 2017 Vianna et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2017. Shark-diving tourism as a financing mechanism for shark conservation strategies in Malaysia. PeerJ Preprints 5:e3481v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3481v1
This study estimated the economic value of the shark-diving industry in Semporna, the most popular diving destination of Malaysia, by surveying the expenditures of diving tourists and dive operators through the region. A willingness-to-pay survey was also used to estimate the potential of the industry as a financing mechanism for enforcement and management of a hypothetical shark sanctuary. The study showed that in 2012, shark-diving tourism provided direct revenues in excess of USD 9.8 million to the Semporna district. These economic benefits had a flow-on effect, generating more than USD 2 million in direct taxes to the government and USD 1.4 million in salaries to the community. A contingent valuation analysis indicated that implementation of a fee paid by divers could generate over USD 2 million for management and enforcement of a shark sanctuary each year. These findings suggest that shark diving is an important contributor to the economy of the Semporna region that could be used as a mechanism to assist financial resourcing for management and conservation strategies.
This manuscript is currently under review on Marine Policy