Summary of the project
Tracking the global progress of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM).
Our expectations for the oceans have never been higher; humanity continues to increase its demands for resources and services from the oceans, including greater protection of organisms and habitats. Every step towards greater use or greater protection creates trade-offs, often catalysing vociferous debate. This is where ecosystem-based management (EBM) plays a vital role, exploring the consequences of the impact of societal choices on the ecosystem and society, and delivering more considered outcomes. EBM is now clearly recognized as the international best practice to manage multiple ocean uses, mitigate multiple ocean stressors, achieve reasonable outcomes across multiple- often conflicting- objectives, obtain suitable ecosystem goods and services, and ultimately support a blue economy. This translates into developing shared visions for global oceans that are healthy, resilient, safe, productive, understood and valued so as to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of the present and future generations. Over the past decades clear progress has been made and impediments to the advancement of EBM have been overcome.
This goal is supported by work to-date that has found that a common understanding of concepts, tools to inform management decisions, and legal mandates for EBM and its underlying evidence base currently exist in many regions, but the actual implementation of EBM is weak. Although each EBM challenge may require a bespoke suite of research, a bigger challenge is this impediment to implementation. The impediments to moving EBM forward need to be analysed and evaluated. This requires global partnership.
MEBM-PEG is an international group of EBM experts that systematically tracks progress towards EBM, communicates its benefits, and identifies where remaining impediments to implementing EBM persist, with suggested solutions for achieving further implementation of EBM.
Area of study
Global. Given the importance of marine EBM and its potential to contribute to sustainable, healthy oceans, the multilateral evaluation group tracks progress of ecosystem-based management globally. Benefits of this global partnership would include greater understanding of the range and applications of EBM, sharing knowledge about EBM, and importantly, developing an opportunity for lessons learned and capacity building in regions where EBM implementation is low.
Timetable for activities
September 2022 – March 2026
Jason Link (Co-lead)
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Gloucester, MA, USA