Shaping ecosystem based fisheries management (SEAwise)

Published on by Anna Rindorf
The SEAwise project works to deliver a fully operational tool that will allow fishers, managers, and policy makers to easily apply Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) in their own fisheries. With the input from advice users, SEAwise identifies and addresses core challenges facing EBFM, creating tools and advice for collaborative management aimed at achieving long-terms goals under environmental change and increasing competition for space. SEAwise operates through four key stages, drawing upon existing management structures and centered on stakeholder input, to create a comprehensive overview of all fisheries interactions in the European Atlantic and Mediterranean. Working with stakeholders, SEAwise acts to: Build a network of experts - from fishers to advisory bodies, decision makers and scientists - to identify widely-accepted key priorities and co-design innovative approaches to EBFM. Assemble a new knowledge base, drawing upon existing knowledge and new insights from stakeholders and science, to create a comprehensive overview of the social, economic, and ecological interactions of fisheries in the European Atlantic and Mediterranean. Develop predictive models, underpinned by the new knowledge base, that allow users to evaluate the potential trade-offs of management decisions, and forecast their long term impacts on the ecosystem. Provide practical, ready-for-uptake advice that is resilient to the changing landscapes of environmental change and competition for marine space. The project links the first ecosystem-scale impact assessment of maritime activities with the welfare of the fished stocks these ecosystems support, enabling a full-circle view of ecosystem effects on fishing productivity in the European Atlantic and Mediterranean. Drawing these links will pave the way for a whole-ecosystem management approach that places fisheries at the heart of ecosystem welfare. In four cross-cutting case studies, each centered on the link between social and economic objectives, target stocks and management at regional scale SEAwise provides: Estimates of impacts of management measures and climate change on fisheries, fish and shellfish stocks living close to the bottom, wildlife bycatch, fisheries-related litter and conflicts in the use of marine space in the Mediterranean Sea, Integrated EBFM advice on fisheries in the North Sea, and their influence on sensitive species and habitats in the context of ocean warming and offshore renewable energy, Estimates of effects of environmental change on recruitment, fish growth, maturity and production in the Western Waters, Key priorities for integrating changes in productivity, spatial distribution, and fishers’ decision-making in the Baltic Sea to create effective EBFM prediction models. Each of the four case studies will be directly informed by expert local knowledge and open discussion, allowing the work to remain adaptive to change and responsive to the needs of advice users.

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Shaping ecosystem based fisheries managementEuropean CommissionFind out more...