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A benefit-cost analysis of a red drum stock enhancement program in South Carolina

  • R. J. Rhodes (a1), J. C. Whitehead (a2), T. I. J. Smith (a3) and M. R. Denson (a4)

Recreational saltwater anglers from the mid-Atlantic through the Gulf of Mexico commonly target red drum. Due to concerns about overharvesting within South Carolina coupled with regional management actions, South Carolina explored the technical feasibility of stocking hatchery-produced juvenile red drum as a technique to augment the abundance of South Carolina stock. In order to assess a continued program, in 2005 a mail survey was used to collect data for estimating the economic benefits with the contingent valuation method. The theoretical validity of willingness to pay was assessed by comparison to the value of a change in red drum fishing trips that would result from the program. Benefits were compared to estimated, explicit stocking costs. We illustrate how a certainty recode approach can be used in sensitivity analysis. The net present values (NPVs) for the stocking program are positive suggesting that the program would have been economically efficient relative to no program.

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Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
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