Ecosystems 2010: Global Progress on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management

26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

Hotel Captain Cook
Anchorage, Alaska
November 8–11, 2010

Contact: Alaska Sea Grant,

This Wakefield Fisheries Symposium drew participation from around the world to discuss recent findings in ecosystem-based fisheries management.

Executive Summary

The 26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium was convened at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, during November 8–11, 2010. In attendance were 108 participants from 19 countries. This successful symposium was hosted by Alaska Sea Grant with funding provided by 12 regional, national, and international cosponsors. The Steering Committee of 9 scientists was chaired by SFOS Fisheries Professor Gordon Kruse.

Oral presentations and posters were presented along four main themes: progress on regional applications, new analytical tools and evaluation of ecosystem indicators, human dimensions, and case studies and practical solutions. Keynote and invited speakers highlighted the international emphasis of this symposium with presentations by scientists from Thailand, Korea, Japan, Australia, Namibia, Norway, and Atlantic Canada.

The symposium achieved a general consensus on ecosystem-based fisheries management, also known as an ecosystem approach to fisheries. There was a convergence on broad ecosystem management objectives, principles, approaches, tools, and involvement of stakeholders. A clear consensus also emerged on the need to conduct risk assessments to set priorities. In general, the greatest risk identified for many of the regions of the world is the lack of effective governance. Rectifying this central problem is a prerequisite for any form of sound fishery management. Other common struggles include the difficulty to obtain clear operational objectives from policy makers and the need to develop practical approaches that can be implemented in developing countries with limited fiscal resources. In well developed countries, ecosystem models have been constructed to improve understanding of ecosystem dynamics in many regions, but it remains unclear whether these models are capable of providing explicit management advice, such as prescription of biological reference points and total allowable catches.

Accepted papers presented at the symposium will be published in a peer-reviewed, edited book. For additional information, contact Gordon Kruse.

PICES Press Article about the symposium [PDF; 122 KB]

ICES 2010 Symposium Report discusses the 26th Lowell Wakefield symposium on pages 15–18 [PDF; 583 KB]

Ecosystems 2010 symposium evaluation

We welcome your help in gauging the success of the symposium and in planning future Wakefield symposia. After the meeting, please take a few minutes to evaluate this Wakefield symposium. Thank you.

Please see links below and at left for more information.