Uncovering the blue economy in coral reef fisheries

Underwater photo of coral reef and small yellow tropical fish swimming around ASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice, Dr. Jack Kittinger, recently published a paper in PLoS ONE titled “Follow that fish: Uncovering the hidden blue economy in coral reef fisheries.” The study sheds light on the economic and social value of small-scale coral reef fisheries in Hawai’i with the intention to incentivize sustainability efforts in the region. Although human well-being depends greatly on nearshore fisheries, these natural resources are often undervalued. Insufficient data exists to support effective policy and development programs. “This work is the result of a three-year effort to assess the value chain in coral reef fisheries and is one of the four publications that are forthcoming from this project,” explained Kittinger. Kittinger et al., estimate the economic value of Hawaiian coral reef fisheries at $10.3-$16.4 million, providing over $7 million annually in meals.