ICES Annual Science Conference 2023

Theme session L

Advancing scientific support for evaluating trade-offs in ecosystem-based management

Wednesday 13 September
13:00–15:00 and 15:30–18:00
Room 0D

Thursday 14 September
Room 0A

​​​​​​​Making difficult and informed trade-offs among competing uses of marine resources is central to effective ecosystem-based management (EBM) and achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Trade-offs are equally central to ICES Vision of “meeting societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas…" and ICES Mission of generating “advice for meeting conservation, management, and sustainability goals." More specifically the ecosystem approach to fisheries aims to provide advice to make management trade-offs. Similarly, the ICES Science Plan states that “understanding […] pressures and their impacts will provide evidence to advise on trade-offs between benefits and risks."

While the need for managers to make trade-off decisions is clear and well-recognized, how do they actually do this effectively across diverse environmental, economic, and social objectives and risks? Different disciplines and management systems have different approaches to how they measure and evaluate trade-offs across alternative uses of scarce ocean resources. 

The session identifies methods and presents diverse case studies on providing effective trade-off evaluations in complex management and allocation situations. 

We welcome any relevant talks, as the goal of the session is to present diverse approaches to this universal problem. Key questions that we hope to consider are:

  • What information do we need to help analyse and make the primary trade-offs that we face?
  • What modelling or other approaches are best suited to inform and help managers make effective trade-offs? How do we ensure that some modelling approaches that are effective at making economic trade-offs also include social values that are more difficult to measure?
  • Are there “win-win" approaches that simultaneously make things better for multiple stakeholders in some common management areas?
  • How do we think long-term about building scientific tools and capacity to help make better informed trade-offs?
  • How do stakeholders and managers perceive the diverse information that scientists present to them? Can scientists more effectively present information about trade-offs in management decisions?

ICES Science Plan recognizes that there are non-monetary cultural identities supported by fisheries in addition to more easily measured economic and environmental attributes. How should trade-offs be framed for decision makers to fairly recognize these values? The session strives to be an important step towards the more effective consideration of meeting diverse management objectives when making trade-offs.​

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Olivier Thébaud (France)
Katell Hamon (Netherlands)
David Goldsborough (Netherlands)
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Theme session L

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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