A SOCIAL COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF A SMALL-SCALE CLAM FISHERY IN THE EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
AbstractWhen a proposal was advanced in 1991 to harvest the wedge clam Donax serra in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, for commercial gain, it elicited a huge public outcry. In order to shed light on the issue, a social costbenefit analysis (CBA), based on a biologically sustainable extraction rate of 100 ton of clams per year, was carried out on its commercial exploitation. Because fishery activities might exact a price on society in the form of negatively altering the quality of people\'s recreation experience in the area, as well as damage the aesthetic and ecological attributes of the beach system, such external effects were identified and valuated. Results from the CBA yielded positive net present values (NPVs) for project options involving live clams being sold on the export market (to Hong Kong) for R24.70 kg-1 and negative NPVs for domestic market options (Johannesburg and Cape Town), where the clam would be sold for R6.50 kg-1. Assuming a discount rate of 8%, the highest NPV was obtained for the scenario in which total production was sold on the foreign market and the firm rented facilities of an existing organization. The external cost was the single largest component of the cost of the fishery. The conclusion drawn is that the social benefit of the project exceeds the social cost – a conclusion which supports commercial exploitation of clam stocks along the St Francis Bay beach, but one which does not include the osts associated with policing.
Afr. J. mar. Sci. 25: 159–168