Economic value of Seagrass Meadows


The economic value of Cymodocea nodosa seagrass meadows for local fisheries at the oceanic island of Gran Canaria (Eastern Atlantic) was determined using visual census techniques and standard market prices. The monetary value of the fish biomass associated was calculated at 866 €/ha., reaching up to 606,239 € at the island-scale. Eight nearshore fish species with commercial interest use seagrass meadows as ‘nursery grounds’. Estimates of secondary production have revealed that this fish production monetarily averaged 95.75 euros per ha and year. Our data provides complementary assessments of the key economic contribution of seagrass meadows for coastal fisheries as both ‘fishing’ and ‘nursery’ grounds. The publication of these data is promoting the social perception of the key role that seagrasses play on the coast and, therefore, the need of including seagrass habitats into conservation legislative frameworks.

Additional remarks: 

Tuya, F., Haroun, R. & Espino, F. 2014. Economic assessment of ecosystem services: Monetary value of seagrass meadows for coastal fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management, 96: 181-187.

Category of best practice: 

Characterization of biodiversity (e.g. inventory, description of species and ecosystems)
Governance and policies (e.g. interactions science/societies, regulations, decision-makers, networks, international collaborations)

Criteria used to define the best practice: 

Significant contribution to preservation of biodiversity and ecological effectiveness
Provision of further environmental and socio-economic benefits
Generating multiplier/imitation effects


Biodiversity and Conservation Research Group, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Contact details: 

Ricardo Haroun (, Fernando Tuya ( Fernando Espino

Geographic region: