Ecosystem-based management is increasingly being recognized as a more holistic way to manage ocean resources in a sustainable manner. However, decision-makers often struggle to define management objectives and performance metrics that apply to the ecosystem as a whole rather than to single species.
In partnership with scientists, resource managers and decision-makers along the U.S. West Coast, COS is engaged in a project to identify ecological and socioeconomic thresholds for multiple conditions including single stressors, cumulative impacts and ecosystem state changes. We will also develop indicators and metrics to determine if thresholds and standards are being met in a given area. The resulting framework will be used initially to guide marine spatial planning processes in the U.S. and British Columbia but will also be generalizable to other geographies. More information is available in a press release announcing this project.