ICES Annual Science Conference 2017

Theme session Q

Integrating economic and social sciences in marine ecosystem services research

Tuesday 19 September, 14:30–16:00 & 16:30–18:00
Wednesday 20 September, 08:30–10:30

Room: Grand ballroom H

​​​​​​The provision of marine ecosystem services (ES) and the well-being of people who rely on these services are being altered at an increasing rate. The complex social-ecological interactions involved, the diversity of ES provided by marine ecosystems, and the possibility of abrupt and surprising changes, make it necessary to understand the social, economic, cultural and governance changes that are occurring, as well as further changes that might be required to achieve conservation and sustainability goals, for example as set out in the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in Europe, the Magnuson-Stevens Act in the USA, or the Fisheries Act in Canada. 

These policy initiatives concerning fisheries and ocean governance aim to protect the re-source base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend, and achieve "Good Environmental Status" (GES). In addition, these initiatives promote the development of robust methods that can be able to assess the different ES providing visually explicit tools (e.g. maps) that are easily interpreted. Indeed, possible conflicts in the different uses of the ocean could arise to the difficulties in explicitly communicating the trade-offs of ES among sectors.

Given the increasing relevance of marine ES and management in providing goods and services for humans, this Theme Session will include papers on the social, economic, cultural and institutional changes needed to achieve GES. 

Presentations are welcome on the following topics:

  • Understanding of differential impacts on marine ecosystems, marine sectors and coastal communities due to the implementation of high impact policy initiatives (MSFD, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Fisheries Act) at different spatial and temporal scales;
  • Multidisciplinary research tools and methodologies to assess the economic, social and institutional changes to deal with the MSFD, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Fisheries Act, among other initiatives;
  • The human dimension and stakeholder attitudes and perceptions toward policy initiatives concerning fisheries and ocean governance;
  • International cooperation at the national and/or regional levels around social sciences and marine ES.
  • Ecosystem services use and management through participative approaches
  • Modeling frameworks to conduct cost-benefit analysis of spatial planning scenarios for marine ecosystem services.


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Cristina Pita (Portugal)
Tony Charles (Canada)
Maria Grazia Pennino (Spain)
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Theme session Q

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