A Management Decision Tool for Mink (Mustela Vison) Control in the Western Isles of Scotland (UK)

A Management Decision Tool for Mink (Mustela Vison) Control in the Western Isles of Scotland (UK)

F.J. Areal S.S. Roy 

Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, The University of Reading, UK

Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, UK

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Dynamic ecological-economic modelling was used to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of the American mink (Mustela vison) on a marketable, exploitable, native species Salmon (Salmo salar) reared in fish farms in the Western Isles. A cost–benefit analysis of the different mink control options, including a ‘doing nothing’ option as a baseline, was conducted. Biological and economic data as well as the assumptions used in the simulations are based on scientific literature and from a 5-year mink control project on the Western Isles. Results suggest mink eradication as the best long-term strategy for an isolated fish farm being affected by predation. However, ‘doing nothing’ would be the best option if average market prices for farmed salmon are low over a long period of time and/or the pest control manager overestimates the area being impacted by mink.


control, cost–benefit analysis, farmed salmon, mink, simulation modelling


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