Rapporteurs: Charlotte Weber (Norway) M. Robin Anderson (Canada) David Reid (Ireland)
Ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM) is concerned with sustainable ecosystems and human activities, particularly fisheries. Ecosystems and fisheries are typically complex so fisheries administrators and stakeholders need to make difficult trade-offs between a number of possibly conflicting objectives. These require both short and long term considerations of consequences for fish stocks and the wider ecosystem they inhabit, the economic and social impacts on the fishing industry, and realistic prospects that existing and proposed regulations will lead to compliance rather than to circumvention. Successful EBFM will ultimately require that this entire advice stream is integrated. Initially though, this integration needs to include:
There will be three major strands to the theme session:
Integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) IEAs, now one of the cornerstones of the ICES strategic plan, can take many forms. These include:
Any approach has its pros and cons and arguably the best practice is to utilize several in a complimentary fashion. They should also be able to support advice that allows operational decisions to be made by local, national, and international authorities as well as a wide range of stakeholder groups.
Integrated Decision SupportIn the past, decision makers have often been supported by separate disciplinary advice streams on the consequences of the management decision they must reach. This can often emphasize complications rather than provide a simple, useable overview. In turn, this makes it difficult for managers and stakeholders to form a clear view of the trade-offs between their objectives. Integrated Decision Support seeks to simplify and unify advice streams to help address this problem
Effective integrated managementManaging human activities in this context is always going to be complex and difficult We need to build trust and agreement between the parties involved, and we need to avoid regulation that leads to unexpected or even the opposite outcomes to those we hoped for. Under these circumstances, an integrated understanding of the fine mechanisms governing fishers' behaviour in relation to the regulative processes is needed, to the benefit of decision makers, fishing industry and the environment alike.
The aim of this session is to bring together practitioners and stakeholders in EBFM, both within and beyond ICES to allow a wide exchange of views, knowledge, and skills. It will allow stakeholders to see how the EBFM approaches work, and to compare and contrast them for their own purposes. The session is intended to cover all aspects of making EBFM operational, from data assembly to knowledge, choices of human activities, pressures and ecosystem component, pros and cons of different EBFM approaches, what stakeholders want from EBFM, and what they can provide. Worked examples of where EBFM has been used in advice, at any level of organization, would be useful, as would the provision of examples of pro-active advice. We welcome contributions linked to any of the ideas above, but in particular related to the following topics: