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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.

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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