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Ecosystem Research Initiative (ERI) Synthesis: How can Ecosystem Research Initiative Results be Incorporated into Management Processes and Advice?

Maritimes Regional Workshop

October 25-27, 2011
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Chairperson: Ross Claytor


Including the cumulative effects of human activities on fish populations, that act directly but also indirectly through alternations in the ecosystem, have been identified as a new component to include in fisheries and oceans management decision making.  A number of decision making frameworks exist to include these effects.  These include the Maritimes Region’s ecosystem approaches to management (EAM) framework, Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMP), and the requirement to identify threats and mitigative actions in Recovery Potential Assessments (RPA) for species at risk.

While oceanographic information has been a feature of some stock assessments as a result of the ecosystem approach to fish management its influence on management decisions has been limited. Cumulative effects of other human activities on fish populations have generally received less decision making attention than oceanographic effects.

This has occurred in part, because an analytical or risk framework for addressing oceanographic effects and the cumulative effects of non-fishing human activities on fish populations, which is analogous in approach to those estimating the effect of fishing on populations, has not been developed.  The lack of programs or projects directed toward obtaining information on cumulative and ecosystem effects and their subsequent link to the fishery and oceans management processes have also been lacking.  The recent ERI has as one of its overarching objectives to include ecosystem considerations in the management process.

The Maritimes Region’s ERI focused on the Gulf of Maine and had three components:


The objectives of this Workshop are to:

  1. Identify the link between ERI results and fisheries management decisions.
  2. Identify the link between ERI results and spatial planning decisions.
  3. Identify how DFO will create more continuity in the scientific information needed for EAM decision making.

Expected Publications



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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