The paradigm of marine resource management has shifted away from the traditional focus on a single sector (e.g., fishing, aquaculture, recreation, oil&gas) and is moving toward a holistic ecosystem approach. This approach, termed ecosystem-based management, has been adopted by NOAA, the European Union Commission, and many other management agencies around the world. However, development of the models and procedures to evaluate and quantify the effects of ecosystem-based management remain in their formative stages.
The Sustainable Oceans: from Policy to Science to Decisions training program focuses on three frontier and cross-cutting research themes that are essential elements of ecosystem-based management:
- Scaling up: Aggregation and integration of data from multiple sources and from the individual to the ecosystem to aid in decision-making.
- Data-model integration: Integration of data and models to inform management design and assessment of impacts.
- Decision-making under uncertainty: Valuation of different types of information for a range of decisions that are fraught with various levels of uncertainties.
Addressing these challenges requires the development of novel models and methodologies that integrate approaches from the natural and social sciences.