Public goods are goods that are available and that can be accessed and consumed by everyone in society without any form of restriction. Consequently, the two types of public goods in existence are impure and pure goods. Pure public goods are those that are available to everyone, for example, national defense. Access to these goods by any individual does not limit the access to another. On the other hand, impure public goods are available to everyone in society, but their access may get restricted to some extent for the purpose of conservation, and the example of such goods is marine biodiversity (Bulte, Van Kooten, & Swanson, 2003). The marine diversity is vital for the existence of everything on the planet as it is a source of oxygen for everything. Furthermore, it also offers significant system facilities such as the provision of foodstuff, drugs, and employment. Marine diversity is essential in the development of leisure industry and tourism events around the world. It is of an essence to conserve marine biodiversity because of the emerging economic incentives. Therefore, it is essential to come up with various incentives that develop a positive stimulus in the economy to avoid exploitation of impure public goods such as marine biodiversity.
Marine biological diversity covers a broad range of varieties and forms of life that coexist in a marine environment. Various types of fish, birds, mammals (for example, the hippopotamus), reptiles (such as crocodiles), amphibians, and other species of plants are a part of the marine ecosystem. Regrettably, people have been exhausting the marine biodiversity by over-fishing. The problems of over-fishing and obliteration of marine organisms’ habitants are marked in many parts of the biosphere, and the outcome is that humans’ activities have damaged the marine ecology irrevocably. Disruption of this balanced ecosystem with the purpose of obtaining food, medication, trade, and tourism activities limits the growth and development of the marine biodiversity (Bulte et al., 2003)
The research by Erwin Bulte et al. (2003) on the economic incentives states that the economists advocates private conservation of marine biological diversity for various reasons. One of such reasons is the economic gain from such services. Private owners or firms must prepare a well-organized plan to control overexploitation of marine products. These companies provide the fishermen with recommended amounts of fish to be harvested for consumption. In the process, the fishermen are issued with permits that they purchase before gaining access to the fisheries (Bulte et al., 2003). Such a system ensures that only the authorized sizes of marine animals and plants are exploited, which leaves others to mature to reproductive lives.
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The private party control brings a sense of responsibility to ensure maximum conservation of the marine biodiversity. Private party control is opposed to the declaration that the goods are completely free and that anyone can exploit them according to their needs. Such arguments can lead to the quick extinction of the marine life. For example, if fishing of sharks were free to every fisherman, then overexploitation of this species could occur since no one cares whether sharks become extinct. Therefore, individual control ensures maximum conservation of such marine life. Therefore, only the amount that does not harm the population of certain marine life is harvested and availed to the market for the consumers. The rest of marine life is left to mature and reproduce without interference (Bulte et al., 2003).
Similarly, market incentives form a strong force towards the conservation of the marine biodiversity. As explained by Bulte et al. (2003), the market incentives have two faces such as harvest taxes and quota trading, or the extent, to which marine life can be exploited for various reasons. The harvest taxes are imposed on the marine goods. Such taxes function to internalize the spillovers associated with harvesting. In this setting, the responsible institutions are the governments and private firms who set optimal level of tax that will guide the exploitation of the marine life. When such taxes are raised to optimal levels, this will bar everyone who cannot meet such fees from exploiting the scarce marine life. It means that the exploitation will operate on the optimal tax level, and in the process, the conservation of the marine life will be manageable (Arriagada & Perrings, 2011).
As stated above, public goods in relations to the marine conservation are goods that are partially exclusive and divisible. They can be harvested and treated as private goods, but doing so would pose a significant social problem due to some factors and reasons. These factors include significant externalities that make it difficult to control the property rights. In addition, diminishing returns to scale argue that such impure public goods are very sensitive to the production and consumption limits. If the limit is reached, the consumption or production will result in more cost than benefits (Bulte et al., 2003).
The types of externalities connected to impure public goods are both positive and adverse. Externalities are the effects realized from an economic activity by those not directly involved in the said business. For positive externalities to impure public goods, the government can act as an entrepreneur by imposing regulation on products and technologies used. In the case of exploitation of the marine life, the government can prohibit the capture of individual animals as well as harvesting plants in the marine ecosystem (Arriagada & Perrings, 2011). Certain technologies used in the process can also become outlawed, which would mean conservation of the marine life for the future generation. Under negative externalities, the primary strategy is to impose such a cost on society that would outweigh the cost of production.
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The technologies that can be employed on the public good supply are the weakest-link and the best shot among others. For the weakest-link technology, the socially available amount of public goods will represent the minimum quantity of goods available for the general usage. The best-shot rule of the public good supply indicates the socially available amount of goods in the maximum volume of all the products accessible to the public. In this case, individuals have a veto to the total goods provided (Arriagada & Perrings, 2011).
Financial, moral, natural, and coercive are the four types of economic incentives. For the finical incentive, profit generation is the primary aim of exploitation of marine products. Over-exploitation of such products at the expense of the marine ecosystem will lead to the extinction of certain species of plants and animals. The moral incentives are also regarded as a positive stimulus. People take the responsibility upon themselves to conserve the entire marine biodiversity. They only exploit enough products for the human consumption (Bulte et al., 2003).
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Another positive aspect of motivation is the natural incentives where products from the marine ecosystem are utilized with caution (Bulte et al., 2003). The consumers bear in mind that in case they overexploit some product, they will not have enough of it available on the market. Finally, coercive incentive also falls under positive motivation. Enough care is taken by the authority in charge of the wildlife to conserve the marine biodiversity because if they fail, individual harvesters may overharvest marine products. Therefore, all the above incentives guard the supply of both the pure and impure public goods more so to those existing in the marine ecosystem (Bulte et al., 2003).
In conclusion, the government must take precaution by regulating the rate of harvesting of the marine products and their marketing. Similarly, private firms and individuals who venture into the conservation of marine biodiversity must strive to reduce the exploitation of endangered species of marine plants and animals. In addition, the marine biological diversity is of considerable economic advantage to every country as far as tourism activities are concerned. It is evident that through heavy taxation and quotas, the rate of exploitation of marine products has reduced considerably since only those with permits undertake harvest of the marine goods. Finally, conservation of the marine biodiversity will make the transition from one generation to another smooth due to the availability of marine products and others resources.
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