Advancing an Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Maine

Ecosystem Modeling in the Gulf of Maine Region: Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries

Jason S. Link and Alida Bundy


Abstract .—As we move towards an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) in the Gulf of Maine (GoM), it is valuable to collectively gauge where we have been, where we are now, and where we anticipate we might be headed with respect to ecosystem modeling. We do so by providing a brief history of ecosystem modeling in the GoM region, focused on a set of network models at various points in time over the past 70 years. We then describe current and ongoing ecosystem modeling efforts in the GoM region, with a particular emphasis on how they are being used in a living marine resource (LMR) management context. We then discuss how such models could be used to advance an EAF in the near term with a focus on the appropriate application of classes of models for addressing various types of research and management questions. Finally, we highlight major lessons learned from our modeling endeavors in an LMR context in the GoM region, so that we and other regions around the world can continue to move towards an EAF.