Tremendous advances in oceanographic observing and modelling systems over the last decade have led to dramatic improvements in our ability to predict the ocean. However, the logical next step of translating these predictions of the physical environment into predictions about biological outcomes and incorporating them into advice remains just a dream: only 1-2% percent of stocks today have any form of environmental information incorporated into their management procedures. Nevertheless, exploiting this predictive skill to aid in resource management is emerging as one of the new challenges in marine science and can be seen as a key prerequisite for developing ecosystem-based management.
WGS2D aims to take up this challenge. While research has historically focused on recruitment, many other biological responses such as spatial distributions, growth and timing of key events, are also tightly linked to the physical environment and therefore potentially predictable . The group will identify these more achievable and predictable biological variables and use them to produce ecological forecast products for applications in advice-generation within the ICES area.