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The economic costs of biological predation


  • Ola Flaaten
  • Kenneth Stollery


This paper developes a bioeconomic model to analyse the economic losses from the reduced harvesting of prey species resulting from an increase in the stock of a natural predator. Examples of large mammals creating economic damage are whales and African elephants. The economic losses depend critically on the actual management of the prey stock, although the three measures we develop are equal when the stock is managed so as to maximize the sustained economic rent from the prey species. Predation losses are illustrated by the case of the Northeastern Atlantic Minke whale, where the estimate of the average predation cost per whale in 1991–1992 is between $US 1780 and $US 2370, using Norwegian cost and earnings data. A ten percent stock increase is estimated to cause a loss of almost $US 19 million to the fishers of the prey species. If half of this cost were assigned to Norway it would be equivalent to 2.8 and 6.7 percent of the gross profits of the Norwegian cod and herring fisheries, respectively. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Suggested Citation

  • Ola Flaaten & Kenneth Stollery, 1996. "The economic costs of biological predation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 8(1), pages 75-95, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:8:y:1996:i:1:p:75-95
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00340654

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Flaaten, Ola, 1991. "Bioeconomics of sustainable harvest of competing species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 163-180, March.
    2. Conrad, Jon M. & Adu-Asamoah, Richard, 1986. "Single and multispecies systems: The the Eastern Tropical Atlantic," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 50-68, March.
    3. Hannesson, Rognvaldur, 1983. "Optimal harvesting of ecologically interdependent fish species," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 329-345, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tibor Neugebauer, 2005. "Bioeconomics Of Sustainable Harvest Of Competing Species: A Comment," Others 0503012, EconWPA.
    2. Skonhoft, Anders, 2006. "The costs and benefits of animal predation: An analysis of Scandinavian wolf re-colonization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 830-841, July.
    3. Finnoff, David & Tschirhart, John, 2003. "Harvesting in an eight-species ecosystem," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 589-611, May.


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