WP6 Ecosystem modelling and management scenarios


WP6 aims to develop and implement Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) ecosystem models (www.ecoapth.org) for all case studies as the necessary foundation to examine a range of fishery and ecosystem management and policy scenarios under a changing environment from the local scale to EU spatial scale as required for CFP and MSFD. The models will be coupled with environmental data, oceanographic and biogeochemical models in order to develop the basis required to conduct and run the scenarios. In order to enhance the reliability of the information provided to policy makers, uncertainty and deep uncertainty tools will be developed and implemented into the scenario running and evaluation process. Further enrichment of scenario testing tools will be implemented through the development of a fisheries edition of the MSP Challenge simulation platform for a selected region (Eastern Mediterranean Sea) and then applying this fisheries edition to existing MSP Challenge simulation platform editions (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Adriatic Sea).

Description of Work

WP6 will create ecosystem models for all the case study areas and will interact with various WPs to exploit their insight and information throughout the project. Input from WP3 (environmental and oceanographic data) and WP4 (climate change and fishing effort) will provide external forcing data for the models. The data will be used to modify and improve model accuracy and reliability under current conditions and under future environmental change (e.g. climate change) and fishing impact scenarios; insight from climate impacts and niche modelling conducted in WP4 will be used to increase the Ecospace predictive accuracy, primarily in climate change scenarios; indicators developed as part of WP5 will be incorporated into the model output providing policy makers with the information they require for informed policy decisions. WP6 will develop the technological foundations, in terms of ecology and fishery interactive simulations to assess the impact of fishery and ecosystem management strategies/policies on the marine ecology and maritime economy. Interactive simulations (mainly EwE) will be integrated into the existing MSP Challenge simulation platform (www.mspchallenge.info) to develop an eastern Mediterranean Sea fisheries management edition of MSP Challenge simulation platform. The eastern Mediterranean Sea was selected because it is a data-poor area that combines two case studies (Aegean Sea and Levantine Sea) and will complement the existing MSP Challenge simulation platform sites and those under construction in other projects (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Adriatic Sea).


EwE models will be compiled, updated where needed, and applied to all case studies. Models will be linked to external data sources via the Ecoscope Platform. Data sources will include: water temperature (measurements for historical simulations, model simulations, driven by climate models, for future projections), primary productivity (model or satellite-based estimates depending on availability), [fishing] effort data (where available based on WP3) for driving the models, and fisheries statistics (landings data from FAO/ICES/GFCM and catch data from Sea Around Us) for model validation. While all case study sites have some level of EwE models in place, we will finalize the development of the EwE models at all sites resulting in Ecosim models at each case study and Ecospace models at selected sites, based on the availability of sufficient spatially structured data. Case study specific issues such as marine protected areas (MPAs), fisheries restricted areas (FRAs), aquaculture integration, and invasive species will be included in the model development where relevant.

Duration: M1-M24 – Task Leader: IOLR – Participants: AUTH, IBER, GEOMAR, IEO, CEBC, EVILVO, CNR, Agora, BUAS, EII.

Task 6.2 will deal with the development of tools for conducting simulations under deep uncertainty for Robust Decision Making. This will consist of an engine to simulate models across large uncertainty spaces (deep uncertainty), database structures to save simulation runs in ways that allow for further analysis, visualization techniques and machine learning techniques (like PRIM: Patient Rule Induction Method). Two parallel systems to address uncertainty and deep uncertainty will be developed: (1) the White-box system testing to mass-execute EwE models in their original form, varying input parameters and configuring internal model hypotheses; and (2) Behavioural meta-modelling techniques linking macro-level policy decisions with micro-level marine models. Model uncertainty will be analysed, quantified and visualized to aid decision-making.

Duration: M1-M48 – Task Leader: PEAS – Participants: AUTH, IBER, GEOMAR, IOLR, IEO, CEBC, EVILVO, CNR, Agora, BUAS, EII.

We will use the MSP Challenge simulation platform to develop a next generation planning support system (digital twin) dedicated to fisheries management in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Once developed and tested, the fishery management edition will be incorporated in the existing MSP Challenge simulation platform available for a number of the case study sites (e.g. North Sea, Baltic Sea, Adriatic Sea). The MSP Challenge simulation platform will interconnect best available oceanographic, geochemical, maritime and marine data from the EcoScope Platform with simulation models relevant for fishery management, such as ecology (EwE models), currents, climate change and fishing effort. Using advanced gaming technology, the MSP Challenge simulation platform is designed to engage and immerse users, making it a perfect environment for stakeholder engagement, scenario development, co-design, and social learning. Within this task we will develop a basic MSP Challenge Eastern Mediterranean edition and EwE Ecospace model for the EM region with special emphasis on fisheries, and develop a fisheries management module in the MSP Challenge simulation platform. This will create a single and multi-user complex social-political interaction based on fisheries management with player-user actions over time (fishing fleet reduction, fishing quota, protected areas, aquaculture units and others) and strategic policies or scenarios (based on socio-economic-ecological targets). We will develop the Application Programming Interface (API), or linkage(s) between EwE with the MSP Challenge simulation platform, and a User Dashboard with a fisheries perspective will be developed and implemented in the MSP Challenge simulation platform. It will include, for example, biomass indicators, fishing sector economic performance and it will enhance user interaction and usability. The dashboard will include the white-box uncertainty assessments (Task 6.2) related to maritime spatial planning decisions. The MSP Challenge-EM Fishing edition will be tested and validated based on time-line analysis and user/expert participation in stakeholder workshops (WP8) and will be linked to the EcoScope Platform (WP3).

Duration: M6-M48 – Task Leader: BUAS – Participants: AUTH, DUTH, IOLR, Hidromod, Agora, EII.

In this task, we will develop the infrastructure required to test environmental, management and policy scenarios, we will define the management and policy scenario categories and options (e.g. CFP, MSFD, local and national policies) and will examine direct (e.g. water warming) and indirect (e.g. invasive species) climate change impacts, as well as theories such as balanced harvesting. We will conduct and test a series of policy scenarios under deep uncertainty related to future climate conditions and the impact of fisheries and invasive species (where relevant). Robust Decision Making (RDM) will be implemented in order to achieve objective functions such as balanced harvesting and Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) under unknown futures given possible policies. The scenario testing will incorporate model and scenario uncertainty and deep uncertainty developed as part of task 6.2 and apply the Robust Decision Making framework to the scenario evaluation and assessment. Scenarios will be evaluated based on indicators developed as part of WP5. Scenario testing infrastructure and libraries will be incorporated into the EcoScope Toolbox (WP5).

Duration: M14-M48 – Task Leader: IOLR – Participants: AUTH, IBER, GEOMAR, IEO, CEBC, EVILVO CNR, NIVA, Agora, BUAS, EII, PEAS.

Lead: IOLR | Duration: 48 months

D6.1 Development of MSP Challenge simulation platform for Eastern Mediterranean

Type: otherDissemination: publicDue: M18

D6.2 Report on EwE models for all case study areas

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M26

D6.3 Development of adapted EwE models

Type: otherDissemination: confidentialDue: M28

D6.4 Report on MSP Challenge simulation platform EM with Fisheries module

Type: reportDissemination: publicDue: M30

D6.5 Report on development and implementation of uncertainty and deep WP6 uncertainty tools in EwE models

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M36

D6.6 MSP Challenge simulation platform EM improved user interaction/Dashboards, fully ready for testing

Type: otherDissemination: publicDue: M36

D6.7 Report on meta-models that correspond to the EwE models

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M40

D6.8 Report on scenario development and testing for all case studies

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M48

D6.9 Simulation, analysis and report for each case study under deep uncertainty

Type: reportDissemination: confidentialDue: M48