Option use value: future unknown and speculative benefits

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Potential future uses of marine biodiversity have an option use value. Marine biodiversity option value reflects the importance of more uses being discovered in the future. The biodiversity may never actually be exploited, but there is benefit associated with retaining the option of exploitation. Any expected future use is not option value, but would belong under cognitive benefits [1].


  1. Beaumont, N.J.; Austen, M.C.; Atkins, J.P.; Burdon, D.; Degraer, S.; Dentinho, T.P.; Derous, S.; Holm, P.; Horton, T.; van Ierland, E.; Marboe, A.H.; Starkey, D.J.; Townsend, M.; Zarzycki, T. (2007). Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 54(3): 253-265