Scientists and managers have long recognized that fisheries management should consider interconnections between fishing, fished species, humans, and the well-being of the larger marine environment. Yet, the path to implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) remains murky.
An effort is under way to create a practical blueprint for EBFM, in particular an outline of the components of effective Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEPs) using existing data. FEPs typically encompass and add information to traditional fishery management plans and are intended as an early step toward EBFM. A review of FEPs reveals that plans differ substantially and there is no standard for what they should contain. Operationalizing EBFM will thus require a scientific dialogue that builds on the concept of FEPs.
Papers are therefore welcome on practical methods to incorporate the following into management action or policy change:
Nyhavn, Copenhagen. Photo: Sofie Oestergaard