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An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and National Marine Fisheries Service partnership activity under the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and National Marine Fisheries Service partnership activity under the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and National Marine Fisheries Service partnership activity under the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Project: Advance the “Ecosystem-Based Approach to Resource Management” from Theory to Application

2 Agency Contacts for Project Bonnie Brown, MAFAC/VCU Dieter Busch, ASMFC/IEI and Garry Mayer, NMFS/HC

3 The backgrounds and some of the drawings have been copied from presentations prepared by L. Garrison and J. Link (NMFS) and BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission and UBC. THANK YOU! Sources of information

4 General Project Objective: Develop draft technical guidance to assist marine resource management agencies in moving towards the use of an ecosystem-based approach in addressing their responsibilities

5 Reasons “Ecosystem-based Management” is a Current Issue Competing stake-holders and legislation Debate over the importance of different activities limiting resources (fishing, environment, predation, etc.) Issues with single species management Used as a scapegoat for lack of action Advancement of science and modeling



8 Fishing Down the Food web

9 Some Potential Outcomes of E-bFM Protect important ecosystem services, ID & maintain desired range in ecosystem state, Conserve biodiversity, Protect certain species, Optimize total fish yield of the system, Optimize yield of particular species, while Providing for long-term economic viability. Our role is to lay out the options and tradeoffs…….

10 Resolve some of the Confusion Ecosystem Management – NO, Ecosystem-based approach -YES Description of geographic focus area Abundance measurements Sustainability (at what level) Management responsibility (who is on 1 st ?)

11 Ecosystem Approach should aid in: Clear direction (specific goals) for management More accurate and efficient response to general and specific information needs by sister agencies Improved public and political understanding of issues and tradeoffs Improved process to identify new information needs

12 This Project is building on: The Ecosystem Approach: Healthy Ecosystems and Sustainable Economics by the Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force (1995) Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management by the Ecosystem Principles Advisory Panel (1999) Experiences from various applications

13 The Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force (1995) reported: The ecosystem based approach is a method for sustaining or restoring natural systems and their functions and values. It is goal driven, and it is based on a collaboratively developed vision of desired future conditions that integrates ecological, economic, and social factors. It is applied within a geographic framework defined primarily by ecological boundaries


15 Need to address “Goal Driven” at all levels including the Ecosystem, Fish Communities, and Populations --------------------------------------------------- And move towards understanding of “healthy state” and/or shared vision of the desired condition (within historic limitations)

16 Pillars of E-bFM 2. Assess current Ecosystem Status (Use same Metrics as for description of goals) 1. Goal Setting (Desired Vision for resources in a specific region) 3. Process to Achieve and Maintaine Goals (Management Tools)

17 1. Ecosystem Goals Considerations: Select understandable metrics applicable to current, historic and future conditions Holistic approach should include biological, chemical, and physical parameters Agency specific issues as sub-sets

18 The Goal Setting Process Needs to consider historic conditions to “map desired future conditions” Needs to have goals clearly defined, not altruisms Needs to holistically address ecological tradeoffs Needs to be inclusive of all possible stakeholders Needs to include the major environmental and regulatory agencies

19 Workshop to assemble information on past and present from all sources


21 F ISHERY AF BF C T ROPHIC L EVEL E COSYSTEM AE BE C E VALUATION C RITERIA Total CatchA1B1C1 Catch ValueA2B2C2 Product DiversityA3B3C3 Size, age, geographic distributionA4B4C4 Environmental ConditionsA5B5C5 Social BenefitsA6B6C6 Ecosystem BiodiversityA7B7C7 Evaluation of Different Ecosystem States

22 2. Assessing Ecosystem Status Multiple metrics –Biotic (resource and non resource) –Abiotic –Human Long time series/trends Novel ways to package the information

23 CONTINUING CHALLENGES Identification of key topics Define terms and applicability to various scales Identify generic indicators to define condition of: A fish population Multi-species communities Local and/or regional environments

24 Scale Issues Identify metrics for status and trends of environmental perturbations that could be monitored by/for : –Watersheds –Estuaries –Nearshore regions –Offshore regions

25 Determining the magnitude of ecosystem change: Needs From historic data, models, and field observations improve understanding of ecosystem processes –Identify anthropogenic stresses that influence biomass abundance and distribution Prioritize new information needs and support interagency funding initiatives

26 3. Achieving Ecosystem Goals Decision Criteria/Theory –Reference Points –Control Rules for Action Implementation/Follow-up –Monitoring –Enforcement

27 Process - Guidance (Options)for: Criteria to guide the identification of geographic range/area Indicators of ecosystem/species conditions Description of current ecosystem/species setting Description of historic state of the ecosystem/species Description of the desired state of the ecosystem/species Management options and some examples Evaluation and follow-up Identification and prioritization of crucial new information needs

28 Tools to influence the direction of ecosystem change - harvest Fishing pressure: Effort control Catch quotas Time or area closures Gear modifications or restrictions to efficiency Economic incentives Ownership based approaches

29 Tools to influence the direction of ecosystem change - habitat Ecosystem or Watershed planning approach for: Use of Marine Protected Areas Water quality standards Stream access for fish Wetland restoration and protection Restoration of shell reefs Sand and gravel mining Gear modifications to protect habitat and forage

30 Effective Implementation Will require: improved and expanded inter- and intra- agency communication –cooperation not just with fisheries but other agencies and the public improve understanding of cause/effect relationships impacting fish abundance and distribution –this may focus on existing long-term data sets more information –how much, what type, and what priority need to be determined

31 Improved public understanding of management goals, decision process, and data requirements Re-linking management to place; Re-balancing of decision-making power; Increased likelihood of agreement on conservation and rebuilding targets. What are the Benefits?

32 Comments or questions? Please visit our web page at: Fish centric

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