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CICOR Fellows Ecosystems Initiative Scoping Workshop

November 18-20, 2007

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MEETING SUMMARY
CICOR Fellows Ecosystems Initiative Scoping Workshop
November 18 – 20 2007

GOAL
To develop the scientific understanding and operational capability to sustain healthy marine ecosystems and the fisheries they support.

BACKGROUND
NOAA fisheries is transitioning from single-species fisheries management to ecosystem based management. The expectation is a requirement for regional Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) that synthesizes information on relevant physical, biochemical, ecological and human processes in relation to specified resource management objectives. A consortium approach will be needed to coordinate observing, analysis, and modeling activities for the Northeast US Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME; Cape Hatteras to Nova Scotia) in support of IEA.

OBJECTIVES
• Accelerate development of an ocean observing system in the northeast region
• Develop the understanding and capability to forecast ocean processes relevant to marine ecosystem management
• Provide the scientific information needed to support an ecosystem approach to management. Specifically, to incorporate ecosystem science, based on coordinated
regional observing, into an IEA for the Northeast US LME DRIVERS
• Pew Oceans Commission Reports (2003)
• U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, “Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century” (2004)
• U.S. Ocean Action Plan, Committee on Ocean Policy (2004)
• ICSORMI Ocean Research Priorities Plan

INITIATIVE ELEMENTS:
• Integrated Regional Observing
• Comprehensive Modeling Strategy
• Process Studies for Enhancing Ecosystem Predictability

PLANNING PROCESS
- Describe the ecosystem to be assessed and the topics to be examined
- Describe the ecosystem attributes of concern (physical, biological, and chemical)
- Review the relevant management objectives
- Describe the relevant ecosystem stressors such as nutrients, invasive species, etc.

WORK PLAN CONCEPT
• Identify steering committee
• Complete initiative scoping process
• Develop and test indicators reflecting ecosystem attributes specified in the scoping process
• Perform analysis of the risks posed by human activities and natural processes
• Integrate results from the risk analysis for each ecosystem
• Quantify the status of the ecosystem relative to historical status and prescribed targets using statistical models, the multivariate assessment.
• Evaluate the potential of different management strategies to influence the status of natural and human system indicators using an ecosystem modeling frameworks (e.g., the Atlantis ecosystem model). Scope
• Geographic: Continental shelf and slope from Cape Hatteras to Nova Scotia, with overlay of principal eco-regions
• Temporal: Processes affecting interannual to decadal variability of marine ecosystems; Relationship of ecosystem processes to key climate indicators
• Space-Time Resolution: Requirements TBD
• Degree of connectivity (e.g. between eco-regions) and complexity (e.g. modeling component requirements): TBD
• Management time frame: Resource management plan updated on ~5 year intervals based on results from ongoing IEA Assessment Needs
• Operational ocean observing system that integrates physics, biology, chemistry, and air-sea interaction
• Access to advanced observing capabilities (e.g. VPR) to complement traditional fisheries surveys
• Systematic reporting on the status of ecosystems via IEAs and “key indicators”
• Modeling of regional ecology linked to goals of sustainable use
• Linking human activities to incremental change in ecosystems

Last updated: August 19, 2008
 


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