Workshop: Good Environmental Status (GES) indicators for pelagic ecosystems
3-4 April 2013 (Copenhagen)

- Overview - Summary for Project partners - Agenda - Who attended -

​​​​​​​​​Source: ICES News

In conjunction with ICES, representatives from several large EU projects came together this week to address the subject of Good Environmental Status for pelagic systems.

Working with ICES, the EU projects MyFISH, EURO-BASIN, and DEVOTES held a workshop in Charlottenlund, Denmark  3-5 April, to investigate how the concept of MSFD Good Environmental Status (GES) can be applied to the pelagic ecosystem and fisheries that exploit pelagic fish.​​​​

With most of the current paradigm with regards to Good Environmental Status (the targeted outcomes of the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive) for fisheries having been based on demersal fish, pelagic fisheries and fish were considered as operationally and biologically different. The management objectives for pelagic systems have been identified through a participatory process hosted by Myfish which included industry, management, scientist, and NGO representatives. These objectives were then used to identify the appropriate driver, pressure, and state indicators building on the work in EURO-BASIN.

In the joint workshop, the links between objectives and indicators were explored for a range of examples highlighting the importance of the biology and the interaction between the pelagic ecosystem and humans.  The workshop concluded that considering Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) targets alone will not fulfil GES objectives with regards to, for example, the genetic, phenotypic, and behavioural dimensions. The MSY approach also does not specifically consider habitat and bycatch concerns.

The workshop will produce a paper entitled 'Identifying pelagic ecosystem indicators for management'.

Source: ICES News

Summary for project partners (Milestone 38 by Verena Trenkel, IFREMER) :
Ecological and pressure indicators for pelagic ecosystems: Concepts, proposed indicators and reference points

A list of objectives for Pelagic Ecosystem GES indicators was generated by the MyFISH project stakeholder consultation. The work in EURO-BASIN provides the basis for proposing ecological indicators and reference points for Norwegian Spring Spawning Herring (NSSH), mackerel and blue whiting for the following stock related objectives: 

  • Keep standing stocks mass above critical thresholds
  • Maintain spawning areas, fish body conditions and population resilience;
  • Maintain juvenile and feeding habitats, as well as migratory pathways;
  • Maintain stable and optimal catches;
  • Maintain physical space for fishing and food security.

Further, work carried out on using acoustics to characterize pelagic ecosystems provides indicators for the community level objective, though reference levels are more difficult to determine:

  • Maintain functional pelagic biodiversity, a healthy size distribution of pelagic community and prey/predator ratios;

Finally, a structured way for selecting appropriate pressure indicators and reference points for each objective and in relation to the ecological indictors will be presented.



3 April (Wednesday, Start 10 am depending on arrival times)
Objectives & overview of relevant contributing projects

  • FP7 MyFISH: Niels Hintzen (IMARES)
  • FP7 EURO-BASIN: Verena Trenkel / Christian Mullon
  • INDISeas: Yunne Shin (IRD) via WebLink (tbc)
  • FP7 DEVOTES: Laura Uusitalo / Krysia Mazik

Outline of a potential research paper on Pelagic GES Indicators

4 April (Thursday)
Delegate Responsibilities for a first draft of research paper
& draft preliminary sections content

Draft reserach paper sections (cont.)

5 April (Friday)

Overview of publication
Fix deadlines for draft completion and submission for review
Clarify responsibilities of contributors
Fix deadlines for WebMeetings to elaborate on draft
End of Workshop

Who attended?

Anna Rindorf (DTU Aqua)   MyFISH   in person
Niels Hentzen (IMARES) MyFISH in person
Samuel Shepherd () MyFISH via WebLink (tbc)  
David Reid (IMI) MyFISH  via WebLink (tbc)
Verena Trenkel (IFREMER) EURO-BASIN in person
Christian Mullon (IRD) EURO-BASIN in person
Patrizio Mariani (DTU Aqua) EURO-BASIN in person
Krysia Mazik (Un. Hull) DEVOTES via WebLink (tbc)
Laura Uusitalo (SYKES) DEVOTES via WebLink (tbc)
Yunne Shin (IRD)  INDISeas via WebLink (tbc)

Updated: 1 July 2013


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Project Partners:

Research WorkPackages (WP) & Focus:

WP Focus Leader
WP1 Data Integration Un. Bremen
WP2 Carbon Pump NOC;CNRS-UBO
WP3 Key Species IMR;Un. Nordland
WP4 Trophic Flow HAFRO;Un.Swansea
WP5 Living Resources IFREMER; DTU
WP6 Basin-scale Modelling PML;CNRS-UBO
WP7 Bioeconomic Modelling PML;UEA;IRD
WP8 Ocean Management DTU;Un. Hamburg

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