Predictive habitat models (PHMs, also known as species distribution models, habitat suitability models, or environmental niche models) are models that predict the likely distribution of a species or habitat using environmental variables as predictors. WGDEC have previously reviewed the potential for using PHMs to support understanding of areas where Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are likely to occur, to feed into annual ICES advice requests from NEAFC and the EU on the distribution of VMEs. However, PHMs have not yet been used to support this ICES advice. In 2019, WGDEC and WGMHM identified that PHMs which meet specific quality thresholds represent the best available evidence for estimating where VMEs are likely to occur at a broad scale. However, there is no agreed upon standard for what those quality thresholds should be.
This workshop aims to develop benchmark standards for the use of PHMs in ICES advice related to the distribution of VMEs. The WGMHM 2019 report developed a 'roadmap' identifying the steps required for the implementation of PHM use, which has been used to identify four Terms of Reference for the workshop. The outputs of the workshop will feed into the Benchmark Oversight Group (BOG), which will undertake a benchmark of the VME advisory process in early 2022.
A workshop report will be prepared following the workshop, for publication by ICES.
WKPHM will take place online and will be chaired by Chris Rooper, DFO, Canada. The meeting will start on Monday 1 Feb and end on Friday 5 Feb 2021. The workshop will include short plenaries and individual/sub-group tasks.
Registration for this workshop is now closed.
Note: If the workshop is oversubscribed, ICES reserves the right, in consultation with the workshop chairs, to select the final workshop participants based on their expertise and geographical distribution.