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© Kay Panten
Institute of

SF Sea Fisheries


Shaping Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management


Shaping Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management

The wish for an ecosystem based fisheries managment is omnipresent. However, potential approaches still lack implementation in Europe. In the project SEAwise we want to change this.

Background and Objective

Fisheries provide sustenance, employment, economic and social activity in coastal areas and beyond, throughout Europe. Increasing these benefits while reducing ecosystem impacts, in an era of environmental change and increased competition for marine space, presents a key challenge to European Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM).

The SEAwise overall objective is to provide a fully operational approach for European Ecosystem Based Fisheries Managment based on persistent networks and co-designed innovation. EBFM implementation faces four major challenges in Europe and will be adressed by SEAwise:

1. Identify widelyaccepted key ecosystem priorities. There are countless ways that the ecosystem can impact fisheries and vice versa; correctly predicting and managing all of these is unlikely to be compatible with practical management. This makes prioritisation among these a key issue and SEAwise addresses this through applying social and ecological risk assessment methodology in collaboration with stakeholders.

2. Address gaps in the available knowledge. The knowledge available for EBFM includes both scientific knowledge as well as traditional, experience-based, citizen, NGO and fisher-collected knowledge. All this knowledge should be integrated to design an operational and pragmatic EBFM implementation for Europe. SEAwise will address the knowledge gap challenge, using co-design approaches to management scheme development to involve and integrate experience-based knowledge from all parties and comprehensive systematic reviews of the literature, past and present projects and readily available data.

3. Lack of tailored, accurate and adaptive predictive models. Members of the SEAwise consortium offer a rich resource of modelling tools, data, quantitative and qualitative analytical tools, and experience in provision of advice. The project will make use of what is already available, further develop this to fill knowledge gaps and link complimentary models and account for uncertainty.

4. Little attempt to develop advice together with management representatives to make it appropriate to their needs in practical decision making. Recognising that the true experts on the usefulness of advice are the recipients, SEAwise will implement a network of scientists, stakeholders and decision makers to map the variety of end-users’ needs with respect to both content and accessibility.


SEAwise overcomes the four major challenges by addressing four specific objectives using state of the art risk assessment methodology:

1) Build a network of stakeholders, advisory bodies, decision makers and scientists to co-design key priorities and approaches to EBFM and to ensure SEAwise’s continued impact long after the project period.

2) Assemble a new knowledge base on European fisheries interactions with social and ecological systems that integrates scientist and stakeholder experience based knowledge.

3) Develop predictive models of fisheries interactions with social and ecological systems to evaluate, select and implement EBFM strategies across Europe accounting for changes in the environment and use of marine space.

4) Provide ready-for-uptake advice for EBFM for Mediterranean, western and northern European waters.

Preliminary Results

Results are published on the project website: SEAwise Results

Links and Downloads

SEAwise project website: SEAwise


  1. 0

    Werner K-M, Haslob H, Reichel AF, Gimpel A, Stelzenmüller V (2024) Offshore wind farm foundations as artificial reefs: The devil is in the detail. Fish Res 272:106937, DOI:10.1016/j.fishres.2024.106937

  2. 1

    Kempf A, Taylor MH, Kühn B, Brown E, Trijoulet V, Vinther M, Rindorf A, Girardin R, Savina-Rolland M, Lehuta S, Halouani G, Robert M, Woillez M, Mahevas S, Travers M, Andres M, Garcia D, Ibaibarriaga L, Sanchez-Marono S, Astarloa Diaz A, et al (2024) SEAwise Report on consistency of existing targets and limits for indicators in an ecosystem context : Deliverable 6.7. Technical University of Denmark, 245 p, DOI:10.11583/DTU.25152662

  3. 2

    Bartolino V, Spence M, Vinther M, Baudron A, Kempf A, Perez A, Griffiths C, Adams G, Delius G, Villanueva MC, Thomson M, Püts M, Thorpe R, Gaichas S, Lucey S, Soudijn F, Del Santo O'Neill T, Trijoulet V, McGregor V, Jacobsen NS (2024) Working Group on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM; outputs from 2023 meeting). Copenhagen: ICES, iii, 170 p, ICES Sci Rep 6(13), DOI:10.17895/

  4. 3

    Kühn B, Kempf A, Brunel T, Cole H, Mathis M, Sys K, Trijoulet V, Vermard Y, Taylor MH (2023) Adding to the mix - Challenges of mixed-fisheries management in the North Sea under climate change and technical interactions. Fish Manag Ecol 30(4):360-377, DOI:10.1111/fme.12629

  5. 4

    Bastardie F, Spedicato MT, Bitetto I, Romagnoni G, Zupa W, Letschert J, Püts M, Damalas D, Kavadas S, Maina I, Tsagarakis K, Poos JJ, Papantoniou G, Depestele J, Batts L, Bluemel JK, Astarloa Diaz A, van de Wolfshaar K, Binch L, Rindorf A (2023) Deliverable 5.5 : SEAwise report on predicting effect of changes in ‘fishable’ areas on fish and fisheries ; Version 2.0. Technical University of Denmark, 130 p, DOI:10.11583/DTU.24331198

  6. 5

    Kempf A, Spence M, Lehuta S, Trijoulet V, Bartolino V, Villanueva MC, Gaichas S (2023) Skill assessment of models relevant for the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management. Fish Res 268:106845, DOI:10.1016/j.fishres.2023.106845

  7. 6

    Sun M, Li Y, Suatoni L, Kempf A, Taylor MH, Fulton EA, Szuwalski C, Spedicato MT, Chen Y (2023) Status and management of mixed fisheries: a global synthesis. Rev Fish Sci Aquacult 31(4):458-482, DOI:10.1080/23308249.2023.2213769

  8. 7

    Püts M, Kempf A, Möllmann C, Taylor MH (2023) Trade-offs between fisheries, offshore wind farms and marine protected areas in the southern North Sea - Winners, losers and effective spatial management. Mar Policy 152:105574, DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2023.105574

  9. 8

    Baudron A, Rindorf A, Spedicato MT, Bastardie F, Berg C, Berger A, Binch L, Bitetto I, Blanco C, Bluemel JK, Bolser D, Calderwood J, Carvalho N, Celie L, Chen C, Chust G, Kempf A, Kühn B, Probst WN, Taylor MH, et al (2023) Workshop 2 on fish distribution (WKFISHDISH2; outputs from 2022 meeting). Copenhagen: ICES, vii, 127 p, ICES Sci Rep 5(7), DOI:10.17895/

  10. 9

    Piet GJ, Rindorf A, Spedicato MT, Depestele J, Kempf A, Ibaibarriaga L, Kraan M, Brown E, Garcia D (2022) SEAwise Report on performance of existing management plans : Version 2.0, Deliverable 6.9. Technical University of Denmark, 56 p, DOI:10.11583/DTU.21687653

  11. 10

    Rindorf A, van Deurs M, Howell D, Andonegi E, Berger A, Bogstad B, Cadigan N, Elvarsson BT, Hintzen NT, Savina-Rolland M, Taylor MH, Trijoulet V, Kooten T van, Zhang F, Collie J (2022) Strength and consistency of density dependence in marine fish productivity. Fish Fisheries 23(4):812-828, DOI:10.1111/faf.12650

  12. 11

    Lordan C, Orio A, Kempf A, Pierucci A, Kuparinen A, Rindorf A, Peyronnet A, Wilson A, Moesgaard Albertsen C, Konrad C, Sparrevohn CR, Minto C, Howell D, Gilljam D, Miller D, Garcia D, Armelloni E, Abad E, Masnadi F, Taylor MH, et al (2022) Workshop on ICES reference points (WKREF2). Copenhagen: ICES, 96 p, ICES Sci Rep 4(68), DOI:10.17895/

  13. 12

    Taylor MH, Akimova A, Bracher A, Kempf A, Kühn B, Helaouet P (2021) Using dynamic ocean color provinces to elucidate drivers of North Sea hydrography and ecology. JGR Oceans 126(12):e2021JC017686, DOI:10.1029/2021JC017686

    Involved external Thünen-Partners

    Funding Body

    • European Union (EU)
      (international, öffentlich)


    10.2021 - 9.2025

    More Information

    Project funding number: Grant Agreement number: 101000318 - SEAwise - H2020-BG-2018-2020 / H2020-BG-2020-2
    Project status: ongoing

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