Page 1

INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENTS Converting our scientific understanding of marine ecosystems into effective advice

ICES INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR THE EXPLORATION OF THE SEA CIEM CONSEIL INTERNATIONAL POUR L’EXPLORATION DE LA MER


ICES

INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM ASSESMENTS

What are marine ecosystems? Marine ecosystems are complex structures composed

Defining the boundaries of an ecosystem is a

of animals, plants, micro-organisms, and their

key step in the complex process of developing

physical environments. Human beings are an

ecosystem advice. ICES has developed ecosystem

integral part of these systems. Ecosystems are

overviews that not only describe the different

diverse: they vary in size, from the small rock

ecosystems but also look at trends in ecosystem

pool on the sea shore to the large Arctic

drivers

Ocean; they provide different services and are

such

confronted with different pressures.

disturbances from human activities like pollution,

which

influence

and

alter

ecosystems,

as changes in climate, oceanography, or

eutrophication, fishing, and aquaculture.


A key focus for ICES is the delivery of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) for regional seas. This will be a long journey with many challenges to overcome, but the ICES voyage has begun. Ecosystem approach to ocean management Human activity affects ecosystems in many ways

The EA recognizes that human activity in oceans and

and over the last decade marine and maritime

seas needs to be managed in an integrated way in

policies have embraced the ecosystem approach (EA)

order to secure the sustainability of marine ecosystem

as a way to manage human impacts on our seas and

services, e.g. fish, shipping, tourism, and leisure.

oceans. The EA addresses ecological, economic, and societal needs and objectives.


Integrated Ecosystem Assessments ICES uses the EA to develop Ecosystem

Assessments

Integrated

To develop IEAs, we need to understand

(IEAs). IEAs

are

the relationships between human activities

and syntheses

of

and marine ecosystems across space and

information on the physical, chemical, and

time, to evaluate the services these systems

ecological

provide us with, and to estimate the overall

quantitative evaluations

processes and human activities

taking place within an ecosystem.

pressures exerted. These pressures are many, from fishing to pollution to habitat damage,

IEAs balance diverse objectives and provide the scientific understanding needed to deliver advice that considers the different trade-offs between various policy options.

Photo: Thue T Petersen, www.tfishphoto.com

and their impacts vary.


Photo: Line Reeh, DTU Aqua

The data challenge The development of IEAs requires integrated observation

and

monitoring

ICES

To ensure that the work of ICES is relevant

manages extensive databases with fisheries,

and responsive to the needs of society and

oceanographic,

contributing

contaminants,

data.

Collaboration and dialogue

and

biological

to

ongoing

processes,

we

are

data extending back over a century and is

committed to collaborating with our strategic

in a unique position to meet the data and

partners. Our links to technology and innovation

knowledge challenge.

platforms, industry associations, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and our 20 member countries’ research institutes ensure that the IEAs we develop meet the needs of our advice recipients.


The ICES mission is to advance the scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and provide information, knowledge, and advice on the sustainable management of human activities affecting, and affected by marine ecosystems. Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) are a key element in delivering our

Ecosystem overviews and regional IEAs highlight our capacity to produce integrated advice for our oceans´ ecosystems – the ultimate

Tel +45 3338 6700 Fax +45 3393 4215

Follow ICES

INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENTS

ICES H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46 1553 Copenhagen V Denmark

September 2015

goal for ICES.

ICES is a bridge between science and policy, providing scientific knowledge and advice to policy makers and managers about the ecological, economic, and social trade-offs between different policy options.

ICES.DK

mission.

Integrated ecosystem assessments  

Converting our scientific understanding of marine ecosystems into effective advice

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you