Tony J. Pitcher

Lecture slides and course comments

The course introduces new concepts and methods that can be employed in support of ecosystem-based fishery management (EBM). Whole-ecosystem simulation models, such as Ecosim and Atlantis, will be critically reviewed in the light of their ability to capture essential ecological and management factors, including quantitative evaluation of risks of depletion or extirpation from climate change and parameter uncertainty, and new ways of exploring policies that may optimize or balance fisheries for ecological, social and economic objectives. There will be discussion of the costs, benefits and practicality of restoring marine ecosystems to former states of abundance, biodiversity and wealth generating capacity, part of a research agenda termed Back to the Future. The course will cover the latest developments in a rapid appraisal technique, Rapfish, which may be used to evaluate sustainability or status in relation to agreed criteria, such the UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The main part of the course comprises four 2-hour sessions, each composed of two lectures and a discussion period.

1. EBM 1. What does Ecosystem Based Management look like? Review of characterization of EBM. Introduction to recent advances in whole-ecosystem simulation in support of ecosystem-based management: example- spatial planning of MPAs.

2. EBM 2. Recent developments in ecosystem modeling: Ecopath with Ecosim and Atlantis. Fitting models to data. Searching for optimal management policies; allowing for the effects of climate; risks of depletion and extirpation; evaluating risk, climate change, biodiversity, risk of extinction and optimizing fisheriesto achieve stated objectives.

3. Rapfish 1: A rapid appraisal technique in support of ecosystem-based management. Introduction to recent improvements in Rapfish, a rapid appraisal technique for evaluating fisheries status, indicators and policy options.

4. Rapfish 2: Rapfish methods. Using Rapfish for Code of Conduct compliance evaluation.

5. Back to the Future 1: BTF concepts - Historical and ecological perspectives on the impacts of fishing on marine ecosystems.

6. Back to the Future 2: BTF methods - scientific and community workshops, LEK, economic evaluations, choice of restoration targets, Optimal Restorable Biomass (ORB) as a new EBM policy goal.

7. EBM Modelling 1: Introduction to Ewe techniques; mass-balance Ecopath models; Dynamic simulation models with Ecosim. Policy searches. Climate drivers.

8. EBM Modelling 2: Introduction to Ecospace and Atlantis spatial analysis techniques for EBM.