Ecosystem based approach

We work towards sustainable fisheries where ecosystem-based approaches provide more comprehensive management tools, bringing us closer to the long-term goal of healthy seas with thriving fish stocks and great diversity.

Ecosystem-based management takes an integrated approach to managing our use of the environment. It emphasises the interconnectedness among species and their habitats, stressing the principle of adaptive governance because of the dynamically evolving nature of ecosystems. The ecosystem-based approaches contrasts with the less complex single-species approach, which manages species in isolation, failing to account for their interactions within the ecosystem. The overall aim is to strengthen ecosystem resilience to external shocks, thus making ecosystems less vulnerable to larger paradigm shifts in species abundance and diversity.

an ecosystem based
approach strengthens
ecosystem resilience
to external shocks

The ecosystem-based approach is mentioned in the Common Fisheries Policy (EU 1380/2013, Art 2.3) as well as in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC, Art. 1.3). FishSec is working to develop these principles into practical steps for incorporation future policy. To this end, the EU multiannual management plan for the Baltic Sea, incorporates ecosystem-focused language to encourage better management in fisheries targeting cod, herring and sprat.

Last updated: January 27, 2016

Recent publications

FishSec EBFM Recommendations

June 27, 2017

FishSec has completed a set of recommendations for the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) in the Baltic Sea region....


Baltic ecosystem based multispecies management

July 21, 2014

The EU as a whole has an ambition to move towards long term multispecies management, rather than single-species management. As...


MSFD Descriptor 3 and GES – joint NGO comments

May 12, 2014

A joint letter from The Fisheries Secretariat (FISH), Oceana, Coaltion Clean Baltic and Seas At Risk regarding Descriptor 3 and...


Baltic Salmon mutliannual plan – joint NGO comment

November 10, 2011

We greatly welcome the Commission’s proposal for a new multiannual plan for Baltic salmon (COM(2011)470). In order to ensure the recovery...