ICES Annual Science Conference 2021

Theme session A

Top predators, food webs, and ecosystem-based fisheries management

​​​​In ecosystem-based fisheries management, non-target stocks, habitats, and predators that are in part dependent on commercially exploited stocks must be taken into account. Currently, fish stock advice focuses on Total Allowable Catch and does not explicitly take into account prey levels available to piscivorous sharks, marine mammals, or seabirds. Similarly, conservation efforts tend to focus on key habitats and species of concern with less attention paid to the prey species that support them.

Ecosystem-based management is the framework that allows these related aims to be considered jointly. When fully implemented, ecosystem-based management shall support efforts to restore and maintain biodiversity and simultaneously provide productive sustainable fisheries in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and regional frameworks such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

This theme session provides an opportunity to discuss key issues of importance to conservation and fisheries management, to review methods and to demonstrate a way forward to ecosystem advice and ecosystem-based management.

Abstracts are welcome on the following topics:

  • Foodweb modelling to identify consumption requirements of top predators along with the production of fish prey (e.g. multispecies functional response and dynamic energy budget models)
  • Spatio-temporal empirical studies to identify overlap between predators and prey
  • Evidence of indirect interactions between fisheries and top predators: specifically, competition for food sources or fisheries losses (discard/slippage/offal discharge) as a food source
  • Assessment approaches that can deliver ecosystem advice including but not limited to the extension of multi-species fisheries models to include top predators, Bayesian network analyses and risk-based models
  • Management options that enable productive fisheries and support conservation aims, including spatial and temporal management of fishing fleets through protected areas, seasonal closures, catch restraints and effort limits


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Conveners:

​Christopher Lynam (UK)
Anita Gilles (Germany)
Ian Mitchell (UK)

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Theme session A

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