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Periodic Report Summary 2 - MAREFRAME (Co-creating Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management Solutions)

Project Context and Objectives:
MareFrame seeks to increase the use of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM) for better governance in European fisheries. The importance of such an approach has been highlighted by many international organizations (including FAO and ICES). Substantial scientific work has been done to promote, develop, and refine the scientific basis for an EAFM; however, substantial barriers continue to exist, thwarting their implementation in practice. These barriers are diverse and overcoming them requires a concerted and collaborative holistic vision with disparate partners and in co-creation with stakeholders. MareFrame aims to be this vehicle of change by developing new tools and technologies improving the science and training actions; incorporating novel data; developing and extending ecosystem and assessment models; and developing a decision support framework to assist with qualifying and quantifying alternative management strategies. MareFrame achieves this by working in close collaboration with stakeholders with a co-creative process in seven case studies (CSs) across Europe (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Icelandic waters, West of Scotland, Iberian Waters, Mediterranean and Black Sea) and one in New Zealand (Chatham Rise). MareFrame has identified nine specific objectives that focus on removing the barriers that prevent more widespread adoption of an EAFM. These objectives are on: enabling existing and new data sources in ecosystem models; working with stakeholders to identify barriers to EAFM adoption and the most important challenges to explore; and the development of tools to improve communication between model developers and stakeholder. Fulfilment of these objectives will act to align the scientific, political, and social views for a more holistic management of marine ecosystems.

Project Results:
Implementing the co-creation approach with the involvement of stakeholders in the research has proven to be a success for developing the holistic ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM). Co-creation has helped to address the necessary changes in our systems in order to generate, share and discuss human knowledge (globalization, technological developments, interdependency, etc.). It has also broadened the knowledge base, supported learning on how to work deliberatively with imperfections and improved both science and policy making performance.
The evaluation of novel information for assessment purposes and exploration of ways to implement novel information and critical processes into assessment models are completed. The MareFrame database (MFDB) versions have been released as open source, and are available for modellers to use to help automate generation of EM models. The MFDB server acts as a central location for sharing model data between case studies and to run model code.
Development of ecosystem models (EMs) for the eight case studied (CSs) is ongoing and allows the derivation of good environmental status (GES) and EAF indicators; replicate time series of commercial fish species; and be presented in a common reporting framework. The EMs include: Gadget, Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE), Atlantis, Multispecies Production Model (MSPM), Multispecies age-structured model (SMS), Minimum Realistic Model (MRM) and Size spectra - a balanced foodweb model. The eight CSs used to test the EMs are: Baltic Sea, North Sea, Iceland waters, West of Scotland, Iberian waters, Strait of Sicily, Black Sea and Chatham Rise.
The EMs were adapted to provide advice on the effects of alternative management scenarios identified in co-creations with the relevant stakeholders and provide a basis for the development Decision Support Tools (DST). The Decision Support Framework (DSF) is being developed to be used to select a favoured scenario/approach, understand the underlying preferences and identify the interlinked trade-offs. Continuous evaluation and comparison is made with regard to progress towards the main objectives of MareFrame (New tools and Technologies, Multispecies Assessment Methods and DSF) in order to synthesize the MareFrame approach and contribute to a new integrated EAFM in Europe.
Building on the co-creation process and information from the case studies, a multi-criteria analysis of socio-economic impacts is to be conducted. Development of a methodology for socio-economic evaluation has been completed.
An interactive learning tool has been developed for training purposes of key users of the DST. A process of evidence-based exploration of alternatives is ongoing and will be detailed in a roadmap on recommendations for objectives and practices with respect to implementing the EAFM within the framework of the common fisheries policy, MSFD and Habitat Directive. To consolidating the project output as learning material in a learning content management system, an enhanced LCMS (tutor-web) will be used to store knowledge generated.
A draft of the MareFrame exploitation plan, defining the strategy and implementation measures envisioned to efficiently communicate the project objectives and activities and disseminate project outputs. This will help to ensure exploitation of MareFrame outputs. MareFrame has completed a total of 33 deliverables, 16 peer reviewed publication, 1 paper in proceedings of a conference and 165 various dissemination activities. MareFrame is overall going according to plan with some restructuring of the timetable. Meetings with stakeholders for each CS have been very successful leading to our favourite quote “Co-creation is OK”.

Potential Impact:
MareFrame results will include tools for evaluating different methods of implementing an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, including a decision support framework, DSF. As in the entire project, the DSF is designed using the co-creation approach including stakeholders from the outset. The DSF is therefore designed to address the issues considered important by stakeholders. MareFrame will deliver several ecosystem models tested and compared within and across ecosystems, as well as new methods to incorporate novel information in such models. Also, develop open on-line courses on ecosystem models and an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. MareFrame contains tangible benefits for stakeholders with primary interest in clear policy objectives ensured through the co-creation process; efficient decision-making and implementation; and in industry performing sustainably in terms of ecological, social and economic aspects.
The intermediate and final outputs of MareFrame are highly valuable for the suppliers of fisheries advice in the EU and feed into the work of ICES and GFCM as can be seen from the following examples:
Working Group (WG) on Stock assessment of Demersal Species, Scientific Advisory Committee of Fisheries (SAC), GFCM. Model outputs from the Strait of Sicily were used to provide advice on demersal fisheries for the GFCM. Francesco Colloca (MareFrame CS and WP5 leader) presented an extension of the Stock Synthesis statistical assessment single-species framework into a multispecies setting. GADGET models for European hake and deep water rose shrimp were developed using catch data from Italian, Maltese and Tunisian trawl and small-scale fisheries from 2002 to 2015 in GSAs 12-16. The main results were compared with the outputs of XSA assessment (WGSAD, 7-12 Nov. 2016).
WG on Multispecies Assessment Methods (WGSAM), ICES. SLU presented a multispecies key-run with EwE for the Baltic Sea that was accepted by the Group. NMRI provided Zooplankton and phytoplankton time-series for the Baltic Sea Ecopath Model. (ICES CM 2016/SSGEPI:21 here, 10-14 Oct. 2016).
WG on Marine Mammal Ecology (WGMME, ICES, 8-11 Feb. 2016). Progress in the analysis of model inputs (natural mortality, survey time series, diet, etc.) cetacean model development and identification of GES indicators.
Back to back meeting of ICES WG on Ecosystem Assessment of Western European Shelf Seas (WGEAWESS), ICES/HELCOM WG on Integrated Assessments of the Baltic Sea (WGIAB) and ICES WG on Comparative Analyses between European Atlantic and Mediterranean marine ecosystems to move towards and Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries (WGCOMEDA). Presentation of the MareFrame tools to evaluate trade-offs (26 April 2017). “Testing environmental, economic and social criteria in a co-creation process with stakeholders: An example model for European anchovy using shiny R package”. The findings were selected as the ICES Journal Editor’s Choice (Feb 2016) for showing the economic value of environmental data
WG on Bay of Biscay and Iberian Waters Ecoregion (WGBIE, ICES 3-10May, 2017). Presentation on the use of hake natural mortality estimation from GADGET multispecies model to improve single species advice.
WG on biology and assessment of deep-sea fisheries resources (WGDEEP, ICES, 24 April-1 May 2017), Single Species Management plans for Tusk and Ling in Icelandic Waters
WG Southern Horse Mackerel, Anchovy and Sardine (WGHANSA, ICES, 24-26 June 2017), presentation of “modelling anchovy dynamics in the Gulf of Cádiz: environmental forcing and economic projections”.
WG on Mixed Fisheries Advice (WGMIXFISH, ICES, 22-26 May 2017). Presentation of the Green Model for the North Sea.
WGSAM, ICES, 16-20 Oct 2017. Multispecies Key-run for the Baltic and potentially Icelandic (GADGET) and West of Scotland (EwE).

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