201B Nov 28, 2018 Oral Abstracts
Habitats 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

The State of Mississippi has an ambitious goal to produce “one million sacks of oysters per year and to increase ecological and economic benefits”. We propose an oyster resource management approach based on modern portfolio theory (MPT) to aid the state's efforts to achieve this goal. MPT is a method developed to overcome deficiencies in investment decision-making, with the objective of minimizing risk while maximizing expected returns, which we modified to incorporate multiple oyster-based technologies producing multiple ecosystem services. Data are collected using a modified Delphi (expert elicitation) approach. Estimates for four ecosystem services (oysters for harvest, improved water quality, habitat for blue crab and redfish, and shoreline protection), provided by three oyster-based technologies (natural oyster beds, off-bottom farms, and restored / constructed reefs) are elicited from oyster biologists over twelve environmental scenarios (covering oxygen, nutrients, sedimentation, and salinity). These service estimates are then assigned ecosystem service values taken from the economics literature and combined cost estimates for each technology to compute the means, standard deviations, and correlations of net benefits across all combinations of technologies and environmental scenarios. The anticipated result is identification of an efficient frontier of portfolios of oyster-based technologies.

Mississippi State University


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