Economic Analysis of Main Hawaiian Islands Insular False Killer Whales Critical Habitat Designation

Client: National Marine Fisheries Service, Pacific Islands Regional Office’s Protected Resources Division and Cardno

Location: Main Hawaiian Islands

MFA economists are analyzing the economic impacts associated with the designation of critical habitat for the Main Hawaiian Islands insular false killer whales’ (Pseudorca crassidens) distinct population segment. The assessment covers a broad range of activities potentially affected by the designation, including in-water and nearshore construction, activities that contribute to water pollution, military activities, energy projects, aquaculture and mariculture, environmental response activities, and federally-managed fisheries. The study also provides a qualitative analysis of the benefits of designating critical habitat and a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis to determine the potential impacts on small entities.

Key project highlights include:

  • Informing the Endangered Species Act Section 4(b)(2) process
  • Assessing the economic and national security impacts of specifying any particular area as critical habitat
  • Determining if the benefits of excluding any particular area from the designation outweigh the benefits of including that area in the designation