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Economists Develop New Decision-Making Method to Help Efficiently Manage Invasive Lionfish

Source: Phys.org/Chris Branam/Oregon State University - December 5, 2017 in Featured, Politics

Economists Develop New Decision-Making Method to Help Efficiently Manage Invasive Lionfish
Photo: Alexander Vasenin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Lionfish are a prime example of damage caused by an invasive species brought into a new environment. With their venomous spines, aggressive behavior, and few natural enemies, these fish have the potential to harm reef ecosystems in the western Atlantic Ocean.

Natural resource managers need to plan and budget for activities to deal with an invasive animal like the lionfish. But until now there hasn’t been a good method for figuring out how much to spend on gathering the information needed to effectively manage lionfish.

A team of economists led by Oregon State University developed a decision method that can be applied to the management of lionfish. Their method, they say, can be applied to other invasive populations, giving managers a tool for calculating the cost of not only eradication or mitigation, but also the monitoring that often needs to be done to keep management on track.

The study is published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

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