Economic losses related to the reduction of Posidonia ecosystem services in the Gulf of Gabes (Southern Mediterranean Sea) - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès Access content directly
Journal Articles Marine Pollution Bulletin Year : 2023

Economic losses related to the reduction of Posidonia ecosystem services in the Gulf of Gabes (Southern Mediterranean Sea)

Abstract

In the early XXth century, the Gulf of Gabes in SE Tunisia used to host the most extended Posidonia oceanica seagrass beds in the Mediterranean basin and was a highly productive hotspot of benthic species. Since the 70's, >500 million t of wet toxic phosphogypsum discharges from a fertilizer industrial complex have led to the gradual loss of ∼90 % of its initial surface. This drastic shrinkage is accompanied by significant value losses originated from the direct and indirect-use services of which the most important ones are small scale fisheries and carbon storage function. Using market valuations of a number of services we estimate economic losses at 105 million € in 2014 (∼915€/ha), i.e., around 115 % of the added value of the gabesian fertilizer factories for the same year. Value losses should increase in the near future in relation with the COP26 agreements which boosted the open carbon credit market. Without actions to reduce negative production externalities caused by the fertilizer industry in the Gulf of Gabes it would not be possible to recover Posidonia ecosystems in this region leading to further economic, ecologic, and cultural losses.

Dates and versions

hal-03920634 , version 1 (03-01-2023)

Identifiers

Cite

Radhouan El Zrelli, Ahlem Hcine, Lamia Yacoubi, Ruben Roa-Ureta, Nicola Gallai, et al.. Economic losses related to the reduction of Posidonia ecosystem services in the Gulf of Gabes (Southern Mediterranean Sea). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2023, 186, pp.114418. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114418⟩. ⟨hal-03920634⟩
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