Topic: Aquaculture attitudes at northern latitudes
The Norwegian coastal zone has changed from its traditional focus on fisheries to an increasing number of conservational, recreational and commercial activities like tourism and aquaculture. The new industries bring new economic revenues to local communities but they also contribute to increased stakeholder conflicts. Aquaculture development if for the time being one of the most contested industries in the Norwegian coastal zone. In our talk we will present results from a project on the attitude towards aquaculture operations among inhabitants in 5 municipalities in Arctic Norway. The methodology for this study has been Choice Experiment. In the survey, we asked our informants about their willingness to pay to avoid negative effects from aquaculture on wild salmon, the seabed, coastal cod and coastal landscape experiences (view and sound). Before they filled in the survey we provided the informants with two different information videos on the environmental effects from aquaculture. In one we presented the effects as scientifically proven (“certain information”) in the other we laid out the present scientific uncertainties related to environmental risk from aquaculture operations (“uncertain information”). We find differences in willingness to pay to avoid aquaculture growth between the informants. These differences are related to differences in the information on environmental effects that was provided to the informants prior to them filling in the survey questionnaire. We found that persons that received “certain information” on environmental effects are willing to pay NOK 2468 per household per year to halve the environmental effects of aquaculture. Persons that were presented with “Uncertain information” (not scientific agreement on environmental effects) are only willing to pay NOK 1830 per household per year.