The overall objective of EcoScope is to co-design and develop an efficient, holistic, ecosystem-based approach to sustainable fisheries management that can be easily used by stakeholders and end-users, including policymakers and advisory bodies. This will be achieved through the design and development of the EcoScope Platform and the EcoScope Toolbox. The Platform will organise and homogenise large fisheries and other relevant datasets in a common standard type and format. The Toolbox will incorporate available (existing and new) assessment tools and methods and ecosystem models, which will be used to support integrated ecocentric management commensurate with safeguarding economic viability, within the policies and directives of the EU.
Specific objectives to support the overall objective are:
- To identify (gap analysis) and fill gaps in biological and ecological knowledge across marine ecosystem components, ocean and biogeochemical models, nutrients, low trophic levels, and planktonic food webs.
- To harmonise and homogenise all available information required for ecosystem assessment into a single platform (EcoScope Platform) in a format that: (i) will link fisheries and biological data to oceanographic, biogeochemical, climatic, meteorological and other data and models, (ii) will allow the examination of management scenarios for future projections for each IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) climate change scenario, and (iii) will be open for public use through sophisticated and easy to use dashboard and interactive maps;
- To detect and evaluate climate forcing and fisheries impacts on species distributions and biomass, habitats and biodiversity using statistical, ecological niche- and food web models, artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques (Big Data).
- To assess the current status of all exploited populations (including non-commercial stocks), habitats and ecosystems using novel assessment methods and techniques and to assess sensitive and protected species using a novel Red-List Assessment method.
- To create ecosystem models that will bring together all available scientific data and knowledge, impacts and expertise from management bodies (stakeholders) and will be used to assess ecosystem status and change, within the context of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
- To evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the current fisheries management approaches and future management scenarios, within the context of ecosystem management and climate change, against values, needs and expectations of society; to analyse fisheries economics indicators (income of fishers, fisheries profitability, government subsidies, human consumption and health) and to assess the economic and governance implications of the current management versus ecosystem-based fisheries management in Europe.
- To enable strong, active and continuous engagement and input of related stakeholders by creating a Stakeholder Knowledge Exchange Forum that will be involved in co-designing and evaluating management tools through Foresight Workshops. The project will also create an online academy (EcoScope Academy) with sophisticated education material for online training courses, webinars and games for end-users and related stakeholder communities, including scientists and fishers, who will benefit from the toolbox and platform for long-life learning on ecosystem-based fisheries management as well as for improving their professional skills. The EcoScope Academy will create optimal usability of products for highly interactive sessions with stakeholders and interactive learning using advanced game technology and game design thinking.
- To design effective business models based on innovative concepts and products, in collaboration with both public and private actors, which will ensure the ongoing sustainable operation and update of the EcoScope platform, toolbox and other products and services beyond the project’s lifetime.
- To achieve maximum impact and visibility of the services, products, tasks and results produced within the EcoScope project through a range of targeted and engaging communication products.