Working Group on Economics



WGECONWGECONTrueOlivier Thebaud, J. Rasmus Nielsen, Hazel CurtisHAPISGOlivier.Thebaud@ifremer.fr, rn@aqua.dtu.dk, Hazel.Curtis@seafish.co.ukWorking Group on Economics

The Working Group on Economics (WGECON) will address the challenge of bringing fisheries economics into ICES science and advice.

​​​​​Nations are concerned about fish stocks and marine ecosystems, not least because they can contribute to human wellbeing. There natural resources therefore have an economic value. The economic dimension should be an integral part of science and advice regarding the use and conservation of marine resources.  

Demand to address economics is increasing, but ICES does not currently engage many economists or address economic issues in many member countries. The efforts of the Strategic Initiative on the Human Dimension (SIHD) have helped raise the profile of economics recently, but its efforts are not generally supported by the expert groups. Further, none of the existing groups that address economic issues focus on economic metrics or core economic analyses required in parts of the ICES network and for advice.  

Many recent meetings have concluded that there is need to expand engagement, especially the “Understanding marine socioecological systems” (MSEAS) conference. Other drivers include Blue Growth, maximum economic yield management, and a desire to understand economic consequences of human-induced changes in the sea. There is also recognition that it would be desirable to add economic metrics to ICES ecosystem overviews and better recognize people and their livelihoods as part of the ecosystem. In the longer term, potential overviews of aquaculture activity will also require economic inputs. 

WGECON was established to start addressing these needs, including bringing fisheries economics into ICES science and advice. Tasks include mapping current work and identifying future needs – considering links with international organizations like IIFET, NAAFE, and EAFE – reporting on data gaps that point to priorities for longer-term data collection, research, institutional needs, and training (and proposing systems to collect missing data), reporting on the information flow needed to provide trade-off analysis of fishing impacts and ecosystem services, and assessing the economic significance of commercial fishing for selected coastal regions in the ICES area.

WGECON will meet at the ICES Secretariat, 11–15 June 2018

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