Cost–benefit analysis of beach-cast harvest: Closing land-marine nutrient loops in the Baltic Sea region

Harvesting beach-cast can help mitigate marine eutrophication by closing land-marine nutrient loops and provide a blue biomass raw material for the bioeconomy. Cost–benefit analysis was applied to harvest activities during 2009–2018 on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, highlighting benefits such as nutrient removal from the marine system and improved recreational opportunities as well as costs of using inputs necessary for harvest.

The results indicate that the activities entailed a net gain to society, lending substance to continued funding for harvests on Gotland and assessments of upscaling of harvest activities to other areas in Sweden and elsewhere. The lessons learnt from the considerable harvest experience on Gotland should be utilized for developing concrete guidelines for carrying out sustainable harvest practice, paying due attention to local conditions but also to what can be generalized to a wider national and international context.

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