The U.S. Marine Ecosystem Valuation Project (US MVP)

Principal Investigator

Ussif Rashid Sumaila


Jackie Alder
Gaku Ishimura


Sea Around Us Project 
Edge Research (Lisa Dropkin) USA
SeaWeb (Nancy Baron), USA

Research Project Description


The primary goal of this project is to provide an estimate of the value of US marine ecosystems. The project will generate scientific information to assist society in evaluating the ecological, economic and social tradeoffs, and consequences under different marine ecosystem policy scenarios.


A true valuation of marine ecosystems will have to include the following values: (i) direct use value; (ii) indirect use value; (iii) option value; (iv) bequest value; and (vi) existence value. In practice (direct) use values tend to be all that is incorporated into economic analysis. Also, values to future generations are not usually explicitly taken into account. This project will apply existing approaches and develop new ones to capture all these values for US marine ecosystems.

Expected Results

  • A key output is a report containing the findings of the project, which will be published both as an Oceana Technical Report and a UBC Fisheries Centre Research Report. Material in the report will be distilled into papers for submission to the primary literature.
  • Provide facts and figures on the web for policymakers and other interest groups.
  • Make presentations at international conferences and workshops.
  • Make contributions to international resource management efforts such as the Millennium Assessment.

Project Duration

January – December, 2004

Funding Source