ICES Annual Science Conference 2024

Theme session L

Evaluating ecosystem-based management performance: examples of success
(co-sponsored by PICES)

​​​​​​​​Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is globally recognized as the best practice for managing multiple ocean-use sectors. By facilitating sustainable and resilient ecosystems, EBM accounts for both good environmental health and human wellbeing. This is all well in theory, but how well are we doing in practice? How do we evaluate success of EBM?

One way to evaluate if we are achieving our objectives in EBM is through the use of performance measures, metrics used to quantify the effectiveness or progress of a management action. While there are performance measures for individual ocean-use sectors and marine ecosystem status, there is a need for performance measures that integrate across sectors, and that include human wellbeing. While we acknowledge that performance measures for EBM are not well developed, identifying which ones could be developed and what data needs to be collected should be considered progress.

The current state of the world's ecosystems underscores the urgency of EBM. Recent work has shown that increasing numbers of stakeholders are participating and investing in EBM, which is hopeful. Knowing when we are doing successful EBM is not just valuable to decision-makers, but also to regions where EBM has yet to be implemented.

This session explores the multiple ways that EBM can be implemented, how to evaluate the performance of the implementation, success in process and in outcomes. We showcase examples of the benefits and success of EBM to move us further along the EBM journey. 

​We invite contributions on the following topics:

  • ecosystem-based management performance measures using the natural and social sciences
  • performance measures, indicators, targets and limits within and across ocean-use sectors
  • case studies evaluating ecosystem-based management performance
  • examples of overcoming impediments, benefits and success of EBM, including those based on indigenous knowledge
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Alida Bundy (Canada)
Janne Haugen (US)
Mark Dickey-Collas (UK/NL)
Xuelei Zhang (China)​
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Theme session L

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