Providing the knowledge for ecosystem based management.

Mark Dickey-Collas, Ecosystem Approach Coordinator, ICES secretariat.

Mark’s role at ICES is to motivate the research community towards developing and sharing the knowledge base for ecosystem based management (EBM) of marine activities. In this talk, he will briefly frame the issue of what is the ecosystem approach, and what are its knowledge needs. As with the provision of the knowledge base for most management challenges, working with people is central to the approach. He will explain that knowledge should be developed that reconciles societal objectives by exploring trade-offs. This is applied science, and the process is iterative and could be considered quite messy. Examples will be given of when the expectations of society outpace the potential delivery of science, and approaches that have been developed to address these challenges. The current mechanisms used by ICES to communicate knowledge to EBM will also be highlighted. Mark will argue that how we develop and provide the knowledge is as important as the creation of the knowledge itself.