the Application of The Ecosystem-Based Approach to Fisheries Management

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The North Western Waters Advisory Council has released its report from their webinar which they held on 29 April 2021.

The report is a review of ICES WK Irish Processes, Outcomes and Possible Next Steps has been dedicated in memory of the late Hugo Boyle, retired Irish fisherman and CEO of the Irish South and East Fish Producers’ Organisation who was a dedicated and valued member of the NWWAC.

The webinar is part of the Application of The Ecosystem-Based Approach to Fisheries Management in the North Western Waters.

In the introduction of the report the NWWAC writes:

On 29 April 2021, the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) held a webinar on the application of the ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management in the North Western Waters. The webinar was a welcome opportunity to learn about the process and outcomes of ICES WKIrish, which brought multiple stakeholder groups together, including the NWWAC, to enhance fisheries advice and co-develop an operational route for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

As mentioned in the NWWAC advice on Fishing Opportunities for 2021, the NWWAC recognises that there are many pressures on the marine environment, including climate change, pollution and unsustainable fishing, which pose a synergistic threat to marine ecosystems and their ability to deliver ecosystem services such as commercial fisheries and climate mitigation. Ensuring sustainable fisheries, including the setting of TACs in line with best available scientific advice, and taking into account ecosystem dynamics is essential to maintain and restore healthy and productive ecosystems which are resilient to other stressors such as climate change and are able to continue to deliver essential ecosystem services.

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Due to their direct involvement since the inception of WKIrish in 2014, NWWAC members held a vested interest in following up on the WKIrish process after the last workshop held in November 2019. Lessons learned from this webinar will aid the AC in the production of advice to the European Commission on the importance of considering ecosystems dynamics to inform more holistic management decisions, especially in relation to TAC setting.

The main part of the event was a panel discussion including experts and stakeholders who had all been directly involved in the WKIrish framework. The panel reviewed lessons learned and best practices from the WKIrish process and explored future possibilities for the use of the ecosystem models developed to progress ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Irish Sea, especially through the integration of the approach into the ICES assessment. Moreover, discussions examined limitations and opportunities in relation to extending the application of these models and the overall approach to other areas in the NWW.

The full report can be read by clicking here.

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NWWAC publish report on recent Fisheries Management webinar

by editor time to read: 7 min