The social dimension is now recognized as an integral part of marine science and scientific advice regarding the use and conservation of marine resources; people and their livelihoods are part of the ecosystem and as such must be understood and assessed. However, social metrics for ecosystem overviews and integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) are not readily available for most ICES regional seas and member nations. One key type of metric is indicators. These have been used for many years to monitor the sustainability of fish stocks and the status of other marine ecological components. Social indicators can be a powerful tool to expand ecosystem modeling and assessment to include the social dimension.
WGSOCIAL will assist in coordinating development of coupled social-ecological models for ecosystems, and associated social indicators for monitoring and assessment. This will be achieved through internal work by its members as well as through working closely with other relevant expert groups within and outside ICES.
WGSOCIAL is working to identify and report on relevant social indicators and data gaps that point to priorities for data collection, research, institutional needs, and training in all ICES member countries; and where possible propose systems to collect missing data. Such data, furthermore, must be collected at appropriate scales, including fishing community and other relevant geographies. These WGSOCIAL efforts will support and coordinate the provision of culturally relevant social indicators to complement economic and ecological indicators and enhance the quality of ecosystem assessments, including IEAs.
Contact the WGSOCIAL Chair Lisa Colburn or the ICES assisting secretary Lise Cronne.
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