Economic Valuation of Fish Provision, Wastewater Treatment, and Coastal Protection in the Israeli Mediterranean Sea

Shiri Zemah-Shamir, Yoav Peled, Mordechai Shechter, Álvaro Israel, Eyal Ofir, Gideon Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While many current and potential uses of the Israeli Mediterranean Sea have clearly defined the economic value and apparent benefits to various stakeholders (e.g., energy and raw materials extraction and maritime traffic), the benefits of these local marine ecosystems are still severely underexplored and are not manifested in economic terms. Coupled with ongoing environmental deterioration such as overfishing, climate change, and biological invasion, the need for performing monetary valuations of the benefits derived from this ecosystem is clearly evident. In this study, we evaluated three marine and coastal ecosystem services, namely, food provisioning, wastewater treatment, and coastal protection, in order to better quantify and map their importance to society. Food provisioning was inspected through the fishing sector, and its benefits were analyzed using the bioeconomic model. The results recommend a reduction in fishing efforts to increase overall biomass levels of both local and invasive fish species. However, this may lead to an economic loss in fishery profits due to reduced catch levels. The economic valuation of wastewater treatment as an ecosystem service hint at possible thresholds governed by effluent volumes and environmental conditions, whereby exceedance of Good Environmental Status (GES) standards may lead to a reduction of ~25% in the potential benefit of this ecosystem service. Finally, this study proposes an engineering restoration solution for compromised intertidal abrasion platforms, with estimated costs and potential benefits for the conservation of at-risk areas. The annual economic value of this ecosystem service is NIS 65–209 million (EUR 16.2–52.2 million).

Original languageEnglish
Article number236
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Mediterranean Sea
  • economic valuation
  • fish provisioning
  • fishing policy
  • mapping
  • marine ecosystem services
  • regulating services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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