Indicators for fisheries management in Europe (IMAGE) (38225)

Project Details


The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requires the progressive implementation of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EBFM). To implement effective management, it is essential to develop a framework that allows for the evaluation of different management strategies based on indicators. Indicators can support the decision making process by (i) describing the pressures affecting the ecosystem, the state of the ecosystem and the response of managers, (ii) tracking progress towards meeting management objectives and (iii) communicating trends in complex impacts and management processes to a non-specialist audience. The aim of this project was to develop an indicator-based operational framework that can support ecosystem-based management, and also show how this can be applied to test and evaluate different management strategies or sampling programs.

The principal objectives of IMAGE were:
- To develop an operational framework of candidate indicators (ecological, economic, social) that can support ecosystem-based fisheries management at the regional and pan-European scale.
- To elaborate these indicators in comprehensive dashboards (e.g. current values, trends, reference levels).
- To develop methodology to integrate this information into tools supporting the decision-making process.
- To develop a framework that can evaluate management strategies based on indicators.
- To advise on how indicators can be used to support EBFM in selected regional case studies based on the RAC areas.

The project consisted of a conceptual phase where the operational framework was designed. This was followed by a phase of methodology development, an implementation phase consisting of regional case studies linked to the RACs and finally a pan-European evaluation and synthesis of the projects results. The results of this project contribute to the development of an effective EBFM in the context of the CFP, while also contributing to the applied science needed to support the emerging European Marine Strategy and Maritime Policy.

The project was coordinated by Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES), The Netherlands.

Research area: Ecosystem Based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/01/200631/12/2009


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