Implementing Ecosystem-based management in the United States

Margaret Mary Brady1, Kenric E Osgood2, Jason Link3, Karen Abrams4 and Wendy Morrison4, (1)NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Science & Technology, Silver Spring, MD, United States, (2)NOAA NMFS, Silver Spring, MD, United States, (3)NOAA Fisheries, Woods Hole, United States, (4)NOAA Fisheries, Silver Spring, MD, United States
Coastal and marine ecosystems provide a broad range of essential, economic, societal, and environmental services. The condition of these ecosystems and the services they provide are affected by a variety of natural and human-based processes, stressors and activities. Conventional management approaches (e.g., single-user sector or single species) of ocean and coastal uses and natural resources have limitations in effectively predicting and addressing variability in resource conditions and the outcomes of management actions. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a multi-disciplined, comprehensive strategy to explore and address multiple pressures on natural resources and ecosystems. More specifically ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) applies EBM principles to fisheries management with the aim of ensuring the resilience and sustainability of marine ecosystems. NOAA Fisheries is operationalizing EBFM following its adoption of an Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) Policy. EBFM encompasses the following six principles: implement ecosystem-level planning; advance the understanding of ecosystem processes; prioritize vulnerabilities and risks to ecosystems and their components; explore and address trade-offs within an ecosystem; incorporate ecosystem considerations into management advice; and maintain resilient ecosystems. NOAA Fisheries finalized regional implementation plans that identify actionable steps for the implementation of EBFM. This presentation will provide an overview of EBFM implementation by NOAA Fisheries and highlight case studies.