Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8733
Title: Implementing "the IEA": using integrated ecosystem assessment frameworks, programs, and applications in support of operationalizing ecosystem-based management
Author: C. J. Harvey, Christopher R. Kelble, Franklin B. Schwing
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume: 74
Pages: 398-405
DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsw201
Keywords: integrated ecosystem assessment,ecosystem-based management,fisheries,marine spatial planning,decision support tools,frameworks

The Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) approach was designed to assimilate scientific knowledge in the ideal format for providing advice to inform marine Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM). As such, IEAs were envisioned as the cornerstone integrated science product for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that would maximize efficiencies and synergies across the agency’s ecosystem science efforts. This led to the development of a national IEA Program that would oversee regional implementation of the IEA framework. As implementation proceeded, uptake by management entities was slower than anticipated, in part because EBM was not as quickly embraced to achieve management objectives. This slow movement to EBM in conjunction with the need to develop scientific analyses and methods to properly implement IEA resulted in the IEA process being viewed as its own endpoint. This led to commonly referring to “the IEA” when variously referring to the IEA framework, program, products, and process. Now that IEA and EBM are maturing, we need to be specific with what we are referring to when discussing IEAs, in order to develop reasonable expectations for applying IEA tools. We also now recognize the need to implement multiple IEA processes at varying geographic and complexity scales within an ecosystem to effectively meet the scientific requirements for operational EBM rather than viewing an IEA application as a single regional science product.

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management