Joint ICES/IUCN-CEM FEG Workshop on Testing OECM Practices and Strategies



WKTOPSWKTOPSTrueHAPISGJoint ICES/IUCN-CEM FEG Workshop on Testing OECM Practices and Strategies

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Area-based fisheries management measures (ABFMs) are geographically defined areas where specific restrictions (such as closures for specific gears or even all fisheries) are in place to improve the fisheries’ sustainability. 

Other effective area-based conservation measure” [OECM] means “a geographically defined area, other than a Protected Area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in-situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and, where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio–economic, and other locally relevant values” (CBD/COP/DEC/14/8/Annex III). 

There is considerable interest in the scientific community and among fisheries managers and policy-makers in exploring the extent to which ABFMs may contribute significantly enough to biodiversity conservation to be identified as OECMs, and included in States’ reporting of their contribution to global biodiversity targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WKTOPS​​ has four terms of reference (ToR)​ which task the workshop to evaluate, through the use of case studies, existing step-wise guidance on whether an ABFM could qualify as an OECM​​​​. The guidance will be tested for clarity and efficacy of ​structuring the evaluation process, for the usefulness of the products in providing a robust scientific evidence base for decision-makers, and documented in a workshop report. 

Current candidates for case studies include:

    1. the Plaice Box - a partially closed area in the North Sea, established in 1989 to reduce the discarding of undersized plaice (Pleuronectes platessa);
    2. the Sandeel Fishery Closure - a large, closed area encompassing much of Scotland's east coast established in 2000 to protect the lesser sandeel (Ammodytes marinus) with consequences for black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) seabird populations;
    3. the Lophelia Coral Conservation Area (LCCA) off Nova Scotia, Canada -​ a small 15 km2 area closed to protect the only known cold-water coral reef in Canada using ABFM tools;
    4. NAFO closed areas to protect sponge vulnerable marine ecosystems in ABNJ of Flemish Cap following UNGA sustainable fisheries resolutions.

Workshop participants are invited to nominate additional areas, taking into account ICES requirements for metadata standards and transparency.​

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