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Recreational Value of Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishing


Helen Scarborough, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University, PO Box 423, Warrnambool 3280, VIC, Australia. Email:


Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus Maccoyii) is a global resource, which is critically endangered. The Committee for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna sets commercial quota levels for member nations, including Australia, each year. However, southern bluefin tuna is also a popular “trophy” fish with recreational anglers. The size of the total recreational catch, which is not included in the quota, is unknown but thought to be significant. This paper reports the findings of a study designed to estimate the recreational value of the non-commercial southern bluefin tuna catch at Portland, in southwest Victoria. The results indicate that the size of the recreational catch at Portland is considerable and therefore significant in terms of the management of the fishery. Furthermore, the non-market recreational values associated with the fishery are substantial with the on-site recreational use value (consumer surplus) per person per visit estimated to be between $33 and $132 and the on-site annual recreational use value of the fishery for one season is estimated to be between $449,533 and $1,325,124.