Report of the Working Group on the value of Coastal Habitat for Exploited Species (WGVHES)
This report summarizes the work of the 2013 ICES Working Group on the Value of Coastal Habitats for Exploited Species (WGVHES) held 17–21 June 2013 at ICES headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. There were 8 participants from five countries (Denmark, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, USA); participants included scientific and technical experts with extensive experience dealing with fishery management and conservation issues. The primary goal of this working group is to provide the foundation for integrating habitat value quantitatively in models of the population dynamics of exploited species, for which ICES gives management advice, as well as those species that are im-portant in the foodweb of ICES species. The group is attempting to determine the relative value of coastal nursery habitats (e.g. seagrass beds, salt marshes, kelp beds, rocky bottom), feeding grounds, and spawning areas for the suite of species of interest to ICES by (i) documenting and evaluating case studies where the quantity and quality of coastal habitats can be linked directly to the population dynamics of ex-ploited species; (ii) producing reviews that synthesize and critically evaluate the evidence of the importance of coastal habitats to exploited species; and (iii) establishing quantitative methods for determining how coastal habitats influence population abundance and fishery yield. We expect the findings will improve predictions of fishery yield, age class strength and long-term population status for species of commercial value, and to define key habitats for restoration efforts.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee