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Protecting and Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems in Multiple Stressor Environments

Author

Listed:
  • Ram Ranjan

    (Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

  • James Shortle

    (#x2020;Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Penn State University, State College, PA, USA)

Abstract

Aquatic ecosystems around the globe are under threat from pollution, invasive species, over-exploitation, and other stressors. Given synergistic effects, policy measures to address particular stressors should be developed in tandem with policy measures to address others. We present a bio-economic model that addresses the optimal management of an aquatic ecosystem subject to multiple stressors. Specifically, we consider optimal management of a native fishery in a lake ecosystem subject to risks from pollution and an invasive species. Optimal plans exist for various cases defined by whether, one, both, or neither of the stressor events has occurred. Optimal fishery stocks vary between these cases, and depend on the order in which the stressor event occur if realized. The optimal native stock is the highest in the absence of either stressor. However, the combined influence of the multiple risks can rapidly reduce the probability of maintaining an un-invaded and un-polluted state for long. The synergistic effects of the risks interconnect optimal policies in interesting ways. We find that optimal pollution abatement in absence of both these stressors may turn out to be lower than when either or both stressors are present. The effectiveness of native fish stock in mitigating the risk of alien fish invasion can have a bearing on whether optimal native fish stock and abatement effort are used as substitutes or as complements. Pollution abatement levels that are chosen without consideration of alien invasion risk can lead indirectly to increased societal costs for invasion risk mitigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ram Ranjan & James Shortle, 2017. "Protecting and Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems in Multiple Stressor Environments," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 1-28, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wepxxx:v:03:y:2017:i:02:n:s2382624x16500119
    DOI: 10.1142/S2382624X16500119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ranjan, Ram & Lubowski, Ruben N., 2004. "A Model of Producer Incentives for Livestock Disease Management," Working Papers 15653, University of Florida, International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center.
    2. Wagener, F. O. O., 2003. "Skiba points and heteroclinic bifurcations, with applications to the shallow lake system," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1533-1561, July.
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    4. David Finnoff & Chris McIntosh & Jason F. Shogren & Charles Sims & Travis Warziniack, 2010. "Invasive Species and Endogenous Risk," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 77-100, October.
    5. Richard D. Horan & James S. Shortle, 2005. "When Two Wrongs Make a Right: Second-Best Point-Nonpoint Trading Ratios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 340-352.
    6. Dechert, W.D. & O'Donnell, S.I., 2006. "The stochastic lake game: A numerical solution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1569-1587.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Shortle & Richard D. Horan, 2017. "Nutrient Pollution: A Wicked Challenge for Economic Instruments," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 1-39, April.
    2. Kroetz, Kailin & Kuwayama, Yusuke & Vexler, Caroline, 2019. "What is a Fish Out of Water? The Economics Behind the Joint Management of Water Resources and Aquatic Species in the United States," RFF Working Paper Series 19-09, Resources for the Future.
    3. Edward B. Barbier, 2017. "Editorial — The Economics of Aquatic Ecosystems: An Introduction to the Special Issue," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 1-6, April.

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