Co-Convenors: Yukimasa Ishida (Japan), Gordon H. Kruse (U.S.A.), Patricia Livingston (U.S.A.), Laura Richards (Canada), Mikhail Stepanenko (Russia) and Chang Ik Zhang (Korea)
The World Summit on the Sustainable Development recommended implementation of the ecosystem-based management by 2010. Achievement of this goal will require holistic assessment and management of fisheries resources and their associated habitat and ecosystems. Therefore, consideration must be given to ecological interactions of target species with predators, competitors, and prey species, bycatch species, interactions between fishes and their habitat, and the effects of fishing on fish stocks and their ecosystems. The challenge associated with implementation of ecosystem-based management is the design of an approach that is capable of capturing the complexity of the system, while at the same time dealing with the varying quality and quantity of available information. The Ecological Risk Assessment for the Effects of Fishing (ERAEF) approach developed by Australia and the Marine Stewardship Council’s Fisheries Assessment Methodology provide two examples of pragmatic approaches. This session encourages contributions that: 1) describe the data and/or information requirements for the application of ecosystem-based assessments, 2) review existing and emerging ecosystem-based assessment methodologies, 3) describe indicators and reference points for these assessments, 4) identify research activities needed for developing an integrated framework for assessments, and 5) discuss indices for evaluating and assessing the ecosystem status and management. Selected oral and poster presentations from this session will be considered to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.