Symposium Summary: The Next Generation of Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management

The fisheries community has long recognized that fisheries management should consider interconnections between fishing, fished species, and the well-being of humans and the marine environment. However, implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) has been slow. In this symposium, we discussed new innovations in implementing EBFM. Presenters examined new methodologies and success stories of ecosystem approaches and considerations in management including: (1) trophic interactions; (2) bycatch of target and non-target species; (3) habitat; (4) environmental and oceanographic variability; and (5) human well-being and social and economic equity. Approaches included modeling techniques such as end-to-end models, habitat vulnerability models, conceptual models, risk assessment, and management techniques such as fishery ecosystem plans. Two large reviews, one on ecosystem components in stock assessments in the U.S. and another on case studies from around the world, highlighted instances where dimensions of EBFM are currently used in management and instances where additional work is needed. A common theme was that EBFM in practice can be improved through better incorporation of economic, social, and cultural dimensions of fisheries performance and outcomes. – Laura E. Koehn, Kristin N. Marshall, Tim E. Essington, and Phillip S. Levin Read the symposium abstracts here.