Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

How to Choose? A Bioeconomic Model for Optimizing River Barrier Mitigation Actions

King, Steven, O'Hanley, Jesse R., Fraser, Iain (2021) How to Choose? A Bioeconomic Model for Optimizing River Barrier Mitigation Actions. Ecological Economics, 181 . Article Number 106892. ISSN 0921-8009. (doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106892) (KAR id:83466)


River infrastructure can cause adverse impacts on fish populations, which, in turn, compromises the ability of river ecosystems to provide a range of ecosystem services. In this paper, we present a methodological approach to assess the potential economics costs and benefits of river connectivity enhancement achieved through removal and mitigation of fish dispersal barriers. Our approach combines the results of a stated preference study for nonuse values of rivers and statistical models of fish population responses to barrier mitigation actions within an integrated bioeconomic optimization framework. We demonstrate the utility of our methodology using a case study of the River Wey catchment in southeast England, which contains over 650 artificial barriers. Our results reveal the presence of benefit-cost trade-offs which can form the basis for river barrier mitigation policy development. In particular, we find that benefits exceed costs in the River Wey for all levels of investment in barrier mitigation considered (£2.5 to 53.4M). Furthermore, from an economic efficiency standpoint, a total budget of approximately £22.5M allocated to barrier mitigation would maximize net societal benefits derived from anticipated increases fish species richness and abundance.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106892
Uncontrolled keywords: fish passage barriers, river connectivity, discrete choice experiments, bioeconomic modeling, optimization, cost benefit analysis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: Jesse O'Hanley
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 09:03 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 19:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.