‘We value marine ecosystem, the sustainable use of their resources, and the protection of the natural environment in all our endeavours’ and ‘We are proactive, responsive, and sensitive to the needs of society’ are two of ICES core values that focus our work.
These values are also at the heart of ecosystem based management. How an ecosystem based approach can be applied to aquaculture is still being debated; however, there is relative agreement among western countries that an ecosystem approach is desirable. In fact, it is arguable that marine aquaculture has grown up with an ecosystem approach, because the laws that govern it were written primarily to protect some value of society, many of them environmental, and not to promote aquaculture.
Various definitions of an ecosystem approach to aquaculture emphasize that it (1) is in a geographically specified area, (2) contributes to the resilience and sustainability of the ecosystem, (3) recognizes the physical, biological, economic, and social interactions among the affected aquaculture and non-aquaculture related components of the ecosystem, including humans, and (4) seeks to optimize benefits among a diverse set of societal goals.
This session will be divided into five parts, a component session devoted to each of the four parts outlined above followed by an integrative session. A keynote reviewing the current status of ecosystem approach development will start the series of component sessions. Then each component session will have a series of presentations followed by a discussion. The final integrative session will be a short review followed by a discussion. Key questions in the discussions will be developed for each session and circulated prior to the meeting.