Advancing an Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Maine

A Perspective on Advancing Ecosystem Research for the Gulf of Maine

Robert L. Stephenson


Abstract .—There have been significant advances in our understanding of the Gulf of Maine, and federal, provincial, and state jurisdictions in Canada and the United States have moved forward with ecosystem approaches to management. The international context for an ecosystem based approach has evolved, and there have been legislative changes in both the United States and Canada. There has also been an evolution of the public perspective with respect to the need for enhanced stewardship in the face of ecological change. There is increasing awareness of the need for development of an integrated approach to the management of multiple human activities in relation to a more diverse set of objectives that include a higher standard of ecological integrity and diverse aspects of sustainability, in a changing environment.