Ship-borne nonindigenous species diminish Great Lakes ecosystem services

Rothlisberger, John D and Finnoff, David C and Cooke, Roger M and Lodge, David M (2012) Ship-borne nonindigenous species diminish Great Lakes ecosystem services. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 15 (3). pp. 462-476.

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Abstract

We used structured expert judgment and economic analysis to quantify annual impacts on ecosystem services in the Great Lakes, North America of nonindigenous aquatic species introduced by ocean-going ships. For the US waters, median damages aggregated across multiple ecosystem services were $138 million per year, and there is a 5% chance that for sportfishing alone losses exceeded $800 million annually. Plausible scenarios of future damages in the US waters alone were similar in magnitude to the binational benefits of ocean-going shipping in the Great Lakes, suggesting more serious consideration is warranted for policy options to reduce the risk of future invasions via the St. Lawrence Seaway. © 2012 The Author(s).