Ecosystem service valuation is the practice of assigning an economic value to the benefits humans obtain from an ecosystem or its services. These values can help to justify and set priorities for programmes, policies, or actions involving these ecosystems and their services. Assessing the many ecosystem services the Atlantic area provides to society (supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural) allows ATLAS to establish firm foundations upon which Blue Growth and conservation scenarios can be evaluated and balanced.

Inventories of ecosystem services are being compiled for the ATLAS case study areas alongside a list of the market-based values available, for example, fisheries. Internet-based choice experiment surveys are being used to investigate the public’s willingness to pay for protection of four case study areas: Azores, LoVe Observatory, Mingulay and Flemish Cap.

Key objectives

  • Identification of deep-sea ecosystem services in the ATLAS case study areas
  • Expert assessment of risks in relation to ecosystem services as a result of human impacts in the Atlantic deep-sea
  • Understand public preferences and values in relation to the deep-sea and its diverse services
  • Assessment of the validity, legitimacy and acceptability of monetary values in relation to deep-sea ecosystem services

Meet the Team

Claire armstong

Lead: Dr Claire Armstrong (UiT)

Dr Claire Armstrong is Professor of Resource Economics and Management at the Norwegian College of Fishery Science, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT). Her research interests include ecosystem services and valuation, environmental and development economics, fisheries and ecosystem management and bioeconomic modelling. She is currently involved in research projects on coastal recreational values and cold-water coral management, financed by the Research Council of Norway (RCN), and EU-funded research on ecosystem services and values. Dr Armstrong has published widely in both natural and social science academic journals.

stephen photoDeputy: Dr Stephen Hynes (NUI Galway)

Dr Stephen Hynes is a lecturer in Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is also the director of the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU). He is currently the Principal Investigator on a number of large multi-disciplinary projects including the Irish Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine funded “Economic & Social Research related to the Development of the Dynamics of the Marine Sector in Ireland”, the EU FP7 funded SOCIOEC project and the EU INTERREG funded MARNET. Dr Hynes has a strong background in applied environmental/natural resource economic research and extensive work experience in econometric modelling. Dr Hynes main research interest is in microeconomic behaviour analysis, related to natural resource/environmental policy and his work has been published by a number of the top-ranked journals in the fields of marine, environmental and natural resource economics. He is currently the chair of the marine section of the National Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services evaluation.