Interim Report of the Working Group on Ecosystem Assessment of Western European Shelf Seas (WGEAWESS)
reportposted on 2018-09-20, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The ICES Working Group on Ecosystem Assessment of Western European Shelf Seas (WGEAWESS) meeting was held in Nantes, France, on 5-9 March 2018. The meeting was attended by 20 participants (6 via correspondence) from 5 countries and chaired by Steven Beggs, Northern Ireland(UK) and Eider Andonegi (Basque Country, Spain). This was the second year of the new three-year Terms of Reference (ToR) for WGEA-WESS and the main activities for the group at this meeting were to discuss progress and further development of work towards all the ToRs a) Continue metadata compila-tion for all ecosystem components available for IEA development, b) Continue evalu-ation of data and trends for a regional Integrated Ecosystem Assessment, c) Review and update the regional Ecosystem overviews, d) Develop and apply ecosystem mod-els to fill identified gaps in empirical data for use in IEAs, and e) Development of In-terreg Atlantic Area proposal (a second call was just opened on March 2018 and the group agreed on working on a new proposal, aiming at making progress towards the implementation of an IEA in the Western European Shelf Seas, trying to harmonize the process throughout the whole region).The group continued reviewing available data and information (ToR a) for the regions covered by the group, providing updates where new information was collected or gathered.Progress made in different regions regarding ToR b) were discussed. Regarding ITAs, different methods were presented and discussed, based on the recently published re-search highlighting that the current statistical methods used for these analysis (mainly PCAs) might be not the most appropriate techniques (see Planque et al., 2018). A com-parison exercise was conducted aiming to analyse potential differences between differ-ent techniques. Additionally, updated ITAs for different subregions were presented. Ecosystem overviews for the two ecoregions covered by the group (Celtic Seas and Bay of Biscay and Iberian waters) were reviewed and sections on climate change effects on these two ecoregions were provided. New ecosystem and foodweb models were shown by several group members, looking mainly at the responses of the ecosystem to the fishing activity. An integrated assessment of the region was also carried out using the MSFD approach, and a practical example was shown about the use of these com-plex models for management, focusing on Marine Spatial Planning. Finally, a new At-lantEA2018 proposal was developed by the group, to be submitted to the second call of the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, with the initial discussions about the new structure and contents of the project proposal taking place during the meeting.
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