ICES is increasingly working to incorporate knowledge about ecosystem state and variability into fisheries advice. This covers both the wide ecosystem perspective provided by the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Working Groups (under the Integrated Ecosystem Assessments Steering Group) and associated ecosystem overviews, and through incorporating knowledge of this ecosystem variability in the tactical quota advice-giving process. Variable predation, density dependent effects, and the effects of changing regimes on the appropriate data period to use for model tuning are all current examples of how knowledge of changing ecosystems feeds directly into ICES assessment models and hence quota-setting advice. ICES is currently seeking to provide guidelines to facilitate incorporating ecosystem information into ICES advice, and WKRPChange is a part of this process.
WKRPChange will examine how to incorporate ecosystem knowledge into the target, range, and limit reference points used in ICES advice, while retaining the underlying principles of precautionary fishing and Maximum Sustainable Yield. The workshop will examine how robust the existing estimation and application process for these reference points is to environmental change, as well as how best to adapt and modify these reference points in response to changing environmental, multispecies and density-dependent conditions. Specifically, the workshop is tasked with producing practical step-by-step guidelines to incorporate such changes into ICES advice.