Skip to main content
[Translate to English:]
© Kay Panten
Institute of

SF Sea Fisheries


Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

© CoastalFutures

Future Scenarious for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems of Contested Marine Areas

In "CoastalFutures", we elaborate science-based concepts for sustainable management of coasts, marine ecosystems and their resources. We develop an innovative model system to test future use scenarios and support analyses of possible management options.

Background and Objective

Climate change and increasing human use of the oceans are creating new challenges for the traditional management of marine resources. Consequently, there is an urgent call for a more comprehensive ecosystem-based marine management. The project "CoastalFutures - Future Scenarios to Promote Sustainable Use of Marine Spaces", which is a part of the research mission "Protecting and Sustainably Using the Seas" of the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM), pursues the development of an innovative tool to support integrated marine management for the North and Baltic Seas. This tool encompasses three important components:

1) future scenarios for the multiple use of coastal areas

2) a novel model system in which future impacts of climate change and human use can be studied at the ecosystem level and sustainable protection concepts can be tested

3) Assessment methods for the modeled scenarios and elaboration of options for action for the policy advice.

"CoastalFutures" addresses four main maritime sectors: (i) offshore energy production, (ii) fisheries, (iii) coastal protection and sediment management, and (iv) nutrient and pollutant inputs. The Thünen Institute with its Institutes of Sea Fisheries and Baltic Sea Fisheries focuses on the development of the model components, future scenarios and practical knowledge to assess the impact of ecosystem changes on fisheries and vice versa. Our science-based recommendation helps to ensure the sustainable use of living marine resources through modern fisheries management.



We are generating future scenarios for the use of coastal ecosystems together with sector representatives from wind energy, nature conservation and fisheries, among others, as well as project partners in order to be able to make statements about future development opportunities for fisheries. These scenarios vary in terms of the extent of change (e.g., greater or lesser temperature increases), availability of land (including extent of designation of land for offshore wind farms), or structural adjustments in the fisheries sector (e.g., opportunities for investment in alternative fishing methods.

We test the negotiated future scenarios using the coastal model system, which links the submodels of the project partners in a virtual environment and can thus simulate numerous direct and indirect impacts on various components of marine ecosystems.  The Thünen-Institute conducts specific analyses of the spatial distribution of commercial fish species, considering current and future climate, as well as human use of marine space. In addition, we use new data and data from laboratory experiments of previous projects to further develop existing recruitment models to estimate the recruitment success of commercial fish species in the North Sea, taking the previously mentioned pressures into account. Both models developed by our team will finally be coupled and integrated into the cross-scale coastal model system. In addition, a fishery and food web model will be integrated to investigate the relationships between climate-induced changes in species composition, exploitation intensity and the resulting impacts on the ecosystems in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

The results of the model will then be used to investigate the impact of different climate and exploitation scenarios on the future development of the German fishing fleets. The scenarios will first be evaluated using socio-economic methods, e.g. agri benchmark fish methodology. Subsequently, the results will enable us to develop adaptation strategies for the fishing fleets. Those strategies will be finally presented and thoroughly discussed with associated stakeholders.

Scroll to top