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Ecosystem Committee Workshop

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July-Aug-Sept 2013
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The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Ecosystem Committee met in September 2013 to discuss 1) the need for an ecosystem-based management (EBM) vision statement for the Council, and 2) operationalizing EBM in Council projects. For the first item, several presentations summarized the Council’s and NMFS’ current state of ecosystem-based management, policy and science, as well as the use of EBM tools in other areas. The presentations included discussions on Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEA) as a tool to evaluate goals and trade-offs, the use of management strategy evaluations (MSE), and current work towards multi-species OFL (overfishing level) and ABC (acceptable biological catch) approaches, habitat approaches, and current NPFMC’s ecosystem approach compared to other U.S. regions.

Kerim Aydin provided an overview of AFSC EBM support, which includes ecosystem asssessments and the development of predictive models to identify formal ecosystem thresholds, as well as linkages to IEA and MSE. For the operationalization of EBM, AFSC scientist Stephani Zador gave a presentation on the Aleutian Islands ecosystem assessment, its development, structure, and role within the annual Council process. Other operationalization projects discussed included the Arctic Fishery Management Plan, Bering Sea canyons, and coral conservation. The Ecosystem Committee’s recommendations were supported by the Council, with further development expected in the coming months.

By Kerim Aydin and Stephani Zador




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