Marine biological value

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Definition of Marine biological value:
The intrinsic value of marine biodiversity, without reference to anthropogenic use.[1]
This is the common definition for Marine biological value, other definitions can be discussed in the article


This definition is similar to the definition of value of natural areas of Smith & Theberge (1986)[2]: ‘the assessment of ecosystem qualities per se, regardless of their social interests’ (i.e. their intrinsic value). By ‘ecosystem qualities’ the authors of the latter paper covered all levels of biodiversity, from genetic diversity to ecosystem processes.

There are two main approaches to defining ‘marine biological value’. These depend on whether it is assessed in relation to the intrinsic value of a habitat or species or because of the goods and services they provide for human populations.

See also Marine biological valuation.


  1. Derous S., Agardy T., Hillewaert H., Hostens K., Jamieson G., Lieberknecht L., Mees J., Moulaert I., Olenin S., Paelinckx D., Rabaut M., Rachor E., Roff J., Stienen E.W.M., van der Wal J.T., Van Lancker V., Verfaillie E., Vincx M., Weslawski J.M., Degraer S. (2007). A concept for biological valuation in the marine environment. Oceanologia 49 (1).
  2. Smith P.G.R., Theberge J.B. (1986). A review of criteria for evaluating natural areas. Environ. Manage. 10, 715-734.