Working Group on Maritime Systems (WGMARS)
The Working Group on Maritime Systems (WGMARS) is a forum for interdisciplinary perspectives on ecosystem science, advice, and governance that engages with maritime stakeholders across the North Atlantic to take into consideration and better understand their perspectives.
During 2020–2022, WGMARS focused on methodological, operational, contextual, and science management aspects of ecosystem-based maritime management/governance. Topics addressed here include: 1) how behavioural economics (BE) can inform and enhance fisheries management; 2) the development and use of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEA) in ICES; 3) the types and extent of connectivity among ICES expert groups based on Social Network Analysis (SNA); 4) the ways in which Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) is implemented via IEA and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) in European Union (EU) member states, other member states of ICES and by the EU itself; and 5) the use of common conceptual modelling mechanisms for understanding ecosystems.
The working group developed and published a systematic review protocol identifying how BE can help marine managers understand and shape fisher behaviour.
The SNA group designed a database of attendees at all ICES expert group meetings from 2015–2019 to map and quantify the strengths and types of connections among the ICES network. This work finds that connectivity is increasing over time and suggests the importance of ICES workshops in this development.
The study on the implementation of IEA in ICES IEA Working Groups (WG) was based on interviews with chairs of 9 of the 11 IEA WGs, the academic literature, and ICES documents. As described in the group’s recent paper (Clay et al., submitted) implementation is mixed, complicated, and slow but shows general progress toward full IEA implementation. This work also identifies barriers to further progress, points to recent steps by ICES to foster improvement, and suggests ways to move forward.
WGMARS is extending and deepening its work on institutional barriers and enablers to integrated marine management.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee