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The least‐cost biodiversity impact mitigation hierarchy with a focus on marine fisheries and bycatch issues

Squires, Dale, Garcia, Serge
Conservation biology 2018 v.32 no.5 pp. 989-997
biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, bycatch, consumer behavior, decision making, ecosystems, marine fisheries, motivation, prices
Least‐cost implementation of the mitigation hierarchy of impacts on biodiversity minimizes the cost of a given level of biodiversity conservation, at project or ecosystem levels, and requires minimizing costs across and within hierarchy steps. Incentive‐based policy instruments that price biodiversity to alter producer and consumer behavior and decision making are generally the most effective way to achieve least‐cost implementation across and within the different hierarchy steps and across all producers and conservation channels. Nonetheless, there are circumstances that favor direct regulation or intrinsic motivation. Conservatory offsets, introduced within the conservatory first three steps of the mitigation hierarchy, rather than the fourth step to compensate the residual, provide an additional incentive‐based policy instrument. The least‐cost mitigation hierarchy framework, induced through incentive‐based policy instruments, including conservatory offsets, mitigates fisheries bycatch consistent with given targets, the Law of the Sea, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.