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Policy and Practice Reviews ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00641

Progress on Implementing Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the US Through the Use of Ecosystem Models and Analysis

  • 1National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), United States
  • 2Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), United States
  • 3National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), West Coast Region, United States
  • 4NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, United States
  • 5Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), United States
  • 6Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), United States
  • 7Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), United States
  • 8Environmental Research Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), United States

Worldwide fisheries management has been undergoing a paradigm shift from a single-species approach to ecosystem approaches. In the U.S., NOAA has adopted a policy statement and Road Map to guide the development and implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). NOAA’s EBFM policy supports addressing the ecosystem interconnections to help maintain resilient and productive ecosystems, even as they respond to climate, habitat, ecological, and social and economic changes. Managing natural marine resources while taking into account their interactions with their environment and our human interactions with our resources and environment requires the support of ecosystem science, modeling, and analysis. Implementing EBFM will require using existing mandates and approaches that fit regional management structures and cultures. The primary mandate for managing marine fisheries in the U.S. is the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Many tenets of the Act align well with the EBFM policy; however, incorporating ecosystem analysis and models into fisheries management processes has faced procedural challenges in many jurisdictions. In this paper, we review example cases where scientists have had success in using ecosystem analysis and modeling to inform management priorities, and identify practices that help bring new ecosystem science information into existing policy processes.

Keywords: Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), Ecosystem Modeling, Fisheries Management, Natural resouces management, ecosystem science, fisheries science

Received: 15 May 2019; Accepted: 30 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Townsend, Harvey, deReynier, Davis, Zador, Gaichas, Weijerman, Hazen and Kaplan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Howard Townsend, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA), Silver Spring, 20910, Maryland, United States, Howard.Townsend@noaa.gov