Bridging the Gap Between Ecological Modelling and the Human Dimension – Towards Effective Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM)

Project: PhD

Project Details


Anthropogenic disturbances, encompassing overexploitation of fish stocks, destructive fishing methods, and global warming have led to changes in fish community compositions and distributions. Understanding how these pressures influence the relationship between humans and marine ecological systems is one of the main challenges facing sustainable and effective management. Single-species management methods are being dominated by Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM), with the ability to account for the interactions between multiple species using holistic approaches, as well as considering economic and social factors. However, the lack of unification and implementation of management strategies has left much to be desired for the true sustainability potential of EBFM. The overarching objective of this project is to study the interaction between fleet dynamics, representing social and economic indicators, and the North Sea ecosystem, using a novel food web and Individual-Based Model (IBM) approach. This will be achieved with the following sub-objectives: 1) Utilising an OSMOSE model, the resilience of a sensitive species, Raja clavata, will be investigated under different scenarios of fishing pressure. 2) Expanding OSMOSE to explicitly incorporate fishers behaviour, via the development of a novel fleet dynamic model, in order to study the relationship between ecology and the human dimension. 3) Analysing the trade-offs between ecological, economic, and social objectives, via simulations of various management scenarios, contributing towards effective Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM). The outcomes of this research will assist SEAwise in creating an operational Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) framework which intends on increasing fisheries benefits whilst simultaneously reducing ecosystem impacts, for future conditions of environmental change and use of marine space.
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …


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