Lead: Mark Dickey-Collas, Ecosystem approach coordinator, ICES
AORA WP4 is tasked with supporting the trilateral group (EU/USA/Canada) on ocean stressors/ecosystem approach, with input from the EU Horizon2020 projects under BG1 "Improving the preservation and sustainable exploitation of Atlantic marine ecosystems".
Following from the 2013 Galway declaration, AORA is facilitating the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance exploration of research and science needs for the ecosystem approach, ocean health and ocean stressors. This builds on the 2013 workshop on transatlantic marine and arctic cooperation which highlighted that "it is crucial to assess complex effects of multiple stressors. To manage these systems following an ecosystem approach requires quantification of the influence of those multiple stressors and a systems vision of their interactions with natural processes." The workshop concluded there was considerable merit in collaborative research on "ecosystem approach for the sustainable use of marine resources, taking full account of multiple stressors". This conclusion and a further workshop in Arlington, USA were influential in creating the EU/NSF research programme on the coupled North Atlantic-Arctic system.
In preparing the foundations for describing the research and science needs, this work package is engaging "with national programmes, FAO, regional seas commissions, RFMOs and EU policy developers, including successful BG-1-2015 project coordinators, to understand what is seen as the "ecosystem approach" priorities and strategies of policy developers".
ICES applies the ecosystem approach to its advice on ocean and fisheries management, and is developing integrated ecosystem assessments for regional seas.
AORA-CSA is funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement no 652677.