This article develops an accounting approach to estimate cultural services in the Gulf of Saint-Malo (France). A new evaluation method is proposed using the own-use production of households engaged in recreational activities in terms of cultural services. A survey was carried out to collect accounting data. Six recreational activities combining pure leisure consumption (mainly sport) and marine cultural services (mainly fishing and seascape observation) were considered: shore fishing and shellfish gathering; hiking; recreational boating and deep-sea fishing; canoeing and kayaking; light sailing; diving and spearfishing.
The results show that the household production value for these six marine and coastal recreational activities in the Gulf of Saint-Malo ranges between 210 and 276 million euros, which contributes 97% of the production of recreational services for these activities. This means that the current national accounting system captures only 3% of marine leisure production. About 82% of the means of production is devoted to the consumption of cultural services, while the remaining part of the production value is allocated to the consumption of sport services. Therefore, the production value associated with the main uses of marine cultural ecosystem services can be estimated at between 172 and 226 million euros, with a respective aggregate value of between 110 and 154 million euros.
These results definitely point to the need to distinguish recreational services that depend only on human activities from cultural services that depend on the outcomes of ecosystem processes, in order to avoid overestimating or confusing estimates of marine cultural ecosystem services.