• English
  • Deutsch
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
YouTube icon
Header image Ecologic

Trade-Offs in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the North Sea Aimed at Achieving Biodiversity Strategy Targets

Trade-Offs in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the North Sea Aimed at Achieving Biodiversity Strategy Targets

AQUACROSS Case Study 1 Report

Over the past three years, the AQUACROSS Assessment Framework was developed, tested, and applied in eight case studies across Europe to solve local biodiversity challenges. Finally, results from each Case Study were published in a 30-page case study report and 3-page executive summary report. The case study is available for download.

The North Sea is one of the busiest seas with many (often growing or newly emerging) sectors laying claim to a limited amount of space. The main human activities include fishing, shipping, oil and gas extraction, and newly emerging activities such as the renewable energy sector. These combined human activities and their associated pressures on the environment have hindered the achievement of the ecological goals for the North Sea (Knights, 2011; OSPAR,  2010; EEA, 2015). 

In line with the European long-term Blue Growth strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors, many of these activities,  such as offshore wind farms (OWFs), are expected to increase and potentially further impact marine biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides. Management of often multiple competing interests is complex and requires novel, more integrated approaches such as Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) or Ecosystem-based Management (EBM), which come with additional requirements to the scientific knowledge base.

This study aims at identifying the requirements of the North Sea scientific knowledge base to provide better guidance for such novel, integrated and more ecosystem-based management approaches.

The case study [pdf, 1.9 MB, English], as well as the summary [pdf, 568 KB, English], are available for download.


Piet, Gerjan et al. 2018: Case Study 1 Report: Trade-Offs in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the North Sea Aimed at Achieving Biodiversity Strategy Targets. WUR: Wageningen.

Gerjan Piet (WUR)
Marloes Kraan (WUR)
Bob Rumes (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science)
Fiona Culhane (University of Liverpool)
Leonie Robinson (University of Liverpool)
39 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1. Introduction and background
1.1 Objective
2. Establishing objectives 
2.1 Identifying policy objectives
2.2 Co-design
3. Assessing the current state of the social-ecological system
3.1 Assessment of current Drivers-Pressures-State
3.2 Assessment of current Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning-Ecosystem Services
3.3 Assessing the  knowledge base of the ecological system
Quantitative information
Qualitative information
4. The baseline and future scenarios
4.1 Identifying gaps between baseline and objectives
4.2 Scenario development
5. Evaluation
5.1 Detailed specification of relevant EBM solutions
5.2 Evaluation
Integrated risk-based approach
Quantitative indicator-based approach
Impact Assessment
5.3 Pre-conditions for successful implementation of EBM
6. Discussion and Conclusions

freshwater, coastal, marine, ecosystems, resilience, EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, nature conservation aquatic biodiversity, ecosystem-based management, Europe, H2020, assessment framework, policy targets, sustainability, case studies, Europe, North Sea