NCEAS Project 12470

A framework to assess ecosystem health in support of ecosystem-based management of coastal-marine systems (EBM)

  • Karen L. McLeod
  • Larry B. Crowder
  • Michael J. Fogarty
  • Andrew A. Rosenberg

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group20th—22nd January 2010Participant List  
Working Group3rd—5th October 2010Participant List  
Working Group14th—16th June 2011Participant List  
Working Group11th—13th January 2012Participant List  

Maintaining healthy, productive marine ecosystems is a recurrent theme in policy recommendations, management deliberations, and public sentiment. While healthy oceans are a broadly shared goal, distinct vital signs to gauge the state of oceans have not been widely implemented, yet are essential for effective policy-making. This working group will reduce hundreds of candidate indicators to a manageable set that will serve as critical monitoring and planning tools for effective marine ecosystem-based management. Specifically, we will bring together leading scholars and practitioners from ecology, fisheries, oceanography, economics, and applied social sciences to develop ecosystem health metrics for the Arctic, continental shelves, coral reefs, estuaries, and coastal upwelling regions. We will address three overarching questions: (1) What does ecosystem health mean and how can we measure it? (2) How can we measure the degree to which human well-being is sustained by marine systems? (3) How transferable are such metrics across different systems? The indicators developed through this initiative will serve as concrete concepts to help catalyze political will, pave the way for policy-making at all levels of government, provide critical tools to communicate the state of marine systems to the public, and facilitate much-needed integration across the social and natural sciences.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Presentations Halpern, Benjamin S.; McLeod, Karen L.; Longo, Catherine S.; Samhouri, Jameal. 2011. Fleshing out the Ocean Health Index: The conceptual framework for a single measure of ecosystem health. Int'l Marine Conservation Congress. 5/18/2011 . Victoria, Canada.
Presentations Kleisner, Kristin; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Longo, Catherine S.; Scarborough, Courtney E.; Samhouri, Jameal; Pauly, D. M. 2011. Exploring indicators of fishing pressures in the context of the OHI with a focus on correcting the Marine Trophic Index for geographic expansion. . Int'l Marine Conservation Congress, 18 May 2011. Victoria, Canada.
Presentations Samhouri, Jameal; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Longo, Catherine S.; McLeod, Karen L.; Fogarty, Michael J. 2011. Good, bad, better, worse: Establishing appropriate reference points for ocean health. Int'l Marine Conservation Congress, 18 May 2011. Victoria, Canada.
Journal Article Samhouri, Jameal; Lester, Sarah E.; Selig, Elizabeth R.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Fogarty, Michael J.; Longo, Catherine S.; McLeod, Karen L. 2012. Sea sick? Setting targets to assess ocean health and ecosystem services. Ecosphere. Vol: 3(5). Pages art41-art41.
Journal Article Selig, Elizabeth R.; Longo, Catherine S.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Best, Benjamin D.; Hardy, Darren; Elfes, Cristiane T.; Scarborough, Courtney E.; Kleisner, Kristin; Katona, Steven K. 2013. Assessing global marine biodiversity status within a coupled socio-ecological perspective. PLoS ONE. Vol: 8. Pages e60284-null. (Online version)