Estimating benefits and costs: a case of fish passages in Lao PDR and the development of the Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool

Bethany Cooper, Lin Crase, L.J. Baumgartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Fishways are often presented as a parsimonious way of assisting water infrastructure development in developing countries while preserving some ecosystem values. More specifically, fishways help preserve migratory freshwater fish species, which are often a main source of protein and other nutrients for many rural communities. To date, much of the literature regarding fishway development focuses on increasing understanding of the interaction between the fish populations and engineering interventions. Accordingly, there is limited analysis that considers fishway construction relative to the specific benefits and costs that subsequently accrue to humans. In this study we outline the development of a decision support tool designed to assist officials in the Lower Mekong evaluate the merits of constructing fishways to address barriers to fish passage. Arguably, the tool can also be modified to assess the avoided cost of building additional barriers that constrain fish migration. The Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool (LMFST) is underpinned by economic notions and populated with input from experts involved in fishway construction. The LMFST is intended to provide indicative monetary estimates and does not replace comprehensive engineering and social analysis; rather, it guides users in assessing those locations and structures that are more likely to deliver a positive outcome for local communities. The LMFST is buttressed in benefit–cost analysis and encourages decision making to be more transparent and this is one of the major contributions of this work.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberMF19156
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Laos
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Fishes
engineering
fish
cost
rural communities
infrastructure
freshwater fish
protein sources
preserves
developing countries
decision making
Rural Population
Fresh Water
Developing Countries
Ecosystem
economics
Decision Making
ecosystems

Cite this

@article{81933d5dbf414c8799042a28ddbec473,
title = "Estimating benefits and costs: a case of fish passages in Lao PDR and the development of the Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool",
abstract = "Fishways are often presented as a parsimonious way of assisting water infrastructure development in developing countries while preserving some ecosystem values. More specifically, fishways help preserve migratory freshwater fish species, which are often a main source of protein and other nutrients for many rural communities. To date, much of the literature regarding fishway development focuses on increasing understanding of the interaction between the fish populations and engineering interventions. Accordingly, there is limited analysis that considers fishway construction relative to the specific benefits and costs that subsequently accrue to humans. In this study we outline the development of a decision support tool designed to assist officials in the Lower Mekong evaluate the merits of constructing fishways to address barriers to fish passage. Arguably, the tool can also be modified to assess the avoided cost of building additional barriers that constrain fish migration. The Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool (LMFST) is underpinned by economic notions and populated with input from experts involved in fishway construction. The LMFST is intended to provide indicative monetary estimates and does not replace comprehensive engineering and social analysis; rather, it guides users in assessing those locations and structures that are more likely to deliver a positive outcome for local communities. The LMFST is buttressed in benefit–cost analysis and encourages decision making to be more transparent and this is one of the major contributions of this work.",
author = "Bethany Cooper and Lin Crase and L.J. Baumgartner",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "18",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19156",
language = "English",
journal = "Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research",
issn = "0067-1940",
publisher = "CSIRO Publishing",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Estimating benefits and costs: a case of fish passages in Lao PDR and the development of the Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool

AU - Cooper, Bethany

AU - Crase, Lin

AU - Baumgartner, L.J.

PY - 2019/7/18

Y1 - 2019/7/18

N2 - Fishways are often presented as a parsimonious way of assisting water infrastructure development in developing countries while preserving some ecosystem values. More specifically, fishways help preserve migratory freshwater fish species, which are often a main source of protein and other nutrients for many rural communities. To date, much of the literature regarding fishway development focuses on increasing understanding of the interaction between the fish populations and engineering interventions. Accordingly, there is limited analysis that considers fishway construction relative to the specific benefits and costs that subsequently accrue to humans. In this study we outline the development of a decision support tool designed to assist officials in the Lower Mekong evaluate the merits of constructing fishways to address barriers to fish passage. Arguably, the tool can also be modified to assess the avoided cost of building additional barriers that constrain fish migration. The Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool (LMFST) is underpinned by economic notions and populated with input from experts involved in fishway construction. The LMFST is intended to provide indicative monetary estimates and does not replace comprehensive engineering and social analysis; rather, it guides users in assessing those locations and structures that are more likely to deliver a positive outcome for local communities. The LMFST is buttressed in benefit–cost analysis and encourages decision making to be more transparent and this is one of the major contributions of this work.

AB - Fishways are often presented as a parsimonious way of assisting water infrastructure development in developing countries while preserving some ecosystem values. More specifically, fishways help preserve migratory freshwater fish species, which are often a main source of protein and other nutrients for many rural communities. To date, much of the literature regarding fishway development focuses on increasing understanding of the interaction between the fish populations and engineering interventions. Accordingly, there is limited analysis that considers fishway construction relative to the specific benefits and costs that subsequently accrue to humans. In this study we outline the development of a decision support tool designed to assist officials in the Lower Mekong evaluate the merits of constructing fishways to address barriers to fish passage. Arguably, the tool can also be modified to assess the avoided cost of building additional barriers that constrain fish migration. The Lower Mekong Fishway Support Tool (LMFST) is underpinned by economic notions and populated with input from experts involved in fishway construction. The LMFST is intended to provide indicative monetary estimates and does not replace comprehensive engineering and social analysis; rather, it guides users in assessing those locations and structures that are more likely to deliver a positive outcome for local communities. The LMFST is buttressed in benefit–cost analysis and encourages decision making to be more transparent and this is one of the major contributions of this work.

U2 - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19156

DO - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF19156

M3 - Article

JO - Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research

JF - Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research

SN - 0067-1940

M1 - MF19156

ER -