Resources for Using Ecosystem Indicators in Practical Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management


Resources for Using Ecosystem Indicators in Practical Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management

Extraction of resources from nature has an inevitable ripple effect. Managers, policymakers, scientists, and communities aim to reduce pressures on the system to sustain natural resources long-term. But the ultimate question remains - how much pressure is too much pressure? An expert Working Group on Benchmarks for Ecosystem Assessment was assembled with policymakers, scientists, and managers from various regions – Alaska, U.S., southeast Australia, central Chile, and southwest India – to explore how to move from ecosystem approaches in fisheries management (EAFM) to ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM).

Collaborators in each country worked together to test the accuracy of indicators for ecosystem structure and function across a range of ecological and management contexts. Their results provide a practical roadmap for how countries can modify current management strategies from EAFM to EBFM. While methods were applied in a fisheries management setting, these concepts are transferable to a wide variety of management jurisdictions seeking to integrate stronger ecosystem approaches, including climate adaptation, protected species management, and habitat conservation.

Papers about the Indicators

Papers about implementing Indicators

Read the Executive Summary


  1. E.A. Fulton et al., “Shifting Baselines and Deciding on the Desirable Form of Multispecies Maximum Sustainable Yield” (2022),
  2. E. Varghese et al., “Determining Target Species for Assessment in Multispecies and Multigear Fisheries: Insights from an Expanded Cmfri-Nmfdc Database” (2021),
  3. S. Padua et al., “Enhancing the Quality and Utility of India’s Marine Fish Landing Data Collection and Processing System Using Spatial Information” (2021),
  4. S. Hornborg et al., “Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Requires Broader Performance Indicators for the Human Dimension” (2019),