Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 9204
Title: Ocean futures as explored using a worldwide suite of ecosystem models
Author: Erik Olsen, I. C. Kaplan, C. H. Ainsworth, Gavin Fay, Sarah K. Gaichas, Robert J. Gamble, Raphael Girardin, H. N. Morzaria Luna, Cecilie Hansen, K. Johnson, Marie Savina-Rolland, H. M. Townsend, M. Weijerman, E. A. Fulton, Jason S. Link
Publication Year: 2018
Journal: Frontiers in Marine Science

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) of the ocean considers all impacts on and uses of marine and coastal systems. In recent years, there has been a heightened interest in EBM tools that allow testing of alternative management options and help identify tradeoffs among objectives, species, and human uses. End-to-end ecosystem modeling frameworks that consider a wide range of management options are a means to provide integrated solutions to the complex ocean management problems encountered in EBM. Here, we leverage the global advances in ecosystem modelling to explore common opportunities and challenges for ecosystem-based management, including changes in ocean acidification, spatial management, and fishing pressure across eight Atlantis ( end-to-end ecosystem models. These models represent marine ecosystems from the tropics to the arctic, varying in size, ecology, and management regimes, using a three-dimensional, spatially-explicit structure parametrized for each system. Results suggest stronger impacts from ocean acidification and marine protected areas than from altering fishing pressure, both in terms of guild-level (i.e., aggregations of similar species or groups) biomass and in terms of indicators of ecological and fishery structure. Effects of ocean acidification were typically negative (reducing biomass), while MPAs led to tradeoffs (both ¿winners¿ and ¿losers¿) at the level of particular species (or functional groups). Compensatory effects within guilds led to weaker average effects at the guild level than the species or group level. The impacts and tradeoffs implied by these future scenarios are highly relevant as ocean governance shifts from single-sector management (e.g., fishery controls) to grappling with global change (e.g., ocean acidification and warming) and competing industrial sectors (e.g., simultaneous spatial management of energy, shipping, and fishing).

Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management
Describe the interaction between human activities, particularly harvest of marine resources, and ecosystem function.