Marine Sabres

Atlantic & Arctic Lighthouse Weekly Hour with Marine SABRES (s02e04)

On February 21, 2024, 14:00-15:00 CET, Catherine Chambers and Gemma Smith presented the Marine SABRES project on behalf of the entire consortium. The Marine SABRES, a European Union-funded research project, seeks to conserve biodiversity and promote a resilient blue economy. By integrating expertise from biological and social sciences, the project aims to improve the management of Europe’s oceans and seas and support a sustainable blue economy by increasing the uptake of ecosystem-based management in Europe. Marine SABRES brings together 21 research partners to restore marine biodiversity and support a sustainable blue economy by increasing the uptake of ecosystem-based management in Europe. Register here for the Zoom Webinar.

To make ecosystem-based management more achievable and implementable, we need to study and analyse marine social-ecological systems comprehensively. Marine SABRES is therefore co-developing and testing a simple socio-ecological system in collaboration with local people in three European marine regions: the Arctic Northeast Atlantic, the Tuscan Archipelago, and Macaronesia. This research aims to develop and demonstrate a generally applicable Social Ecological System framework for supporting ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning in a rapid and integrative manner, with co-design and co-production by stakeholders.

This presentation focused on the Arctic Northeast Atlantic case study. Pelagic fisheries (including mackerel, herring, capelin, and blue whiting) in the Northeast Atlantic involve a complex of political, environmental, social, and economic factors in a system dependent on industrial fishing and vertically integrated companies that operate internationally, compete internationally, and yet depend on international cooperation for long-term sustainability and continued access to fisheries with shifting distributions. In this way, the Northeast Atlantic pelagic fisheries make for an interesting case study in how to establish participation and knowledge exchange between sectors, stakeholders, and rightsholders. The approach is based on systems analysis to describe as simply as possible the baseline system function, and use it to test scenarios, identify options for adaptation, and set goals and objectives for the fishery. Scenarios will be designed to analyse motivations and identify opportunities for behavioural change that could strengthen sustainability or have other positive social impacts. This case study contrasts greatly from other common implementations of tools used to implement ecosystem-based management in fisheries as it does not from the outset include quantitative ecological modeling nor a place-based approach, but instead has the potential to reveal drivers of competition, cooperation, and adaptation among large business operations.

Watch the YouTube recording here.

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14:00-14:05: Introductions, Jose Luiz Moutinho, BlueMissionAA / AIR Centre

14:05-14:25: Catherine Chambers, Stefansson Arctic Institute and Research Manager at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland

14:25-14:45: Gemma Smith, International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists Ltd

14:45-15:00 Q&A moderated by Valerie de Liedekerke, BlueMissionAA / AIR Centre

The presentation, “The MarineSABRES project: Using a Simple Social Ecological Systems approach in analysing Arctic pelagic fisheries” by Dr Catherine Chambers and Gemma Smith is available here.

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Catherine Chambers

Dr. Chambers is a senior scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute and Research Manager at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland. Her specialties focus on human dimensions of fisheries, cultural heritage, ocean governance, human relationships with marine resources, changing coastal communities, fishers’ knowledge, ocean literacy, and small-scale fisheries. Recent research involves intergenerational justice in small-scale fisheries and climate change mitigation in fisheries-dependent communities. Professional appointments include chair of the Social and Human working group of the International Arctic Science Committee and vice chair of the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Ocean Food Systems. Catherine serves on the Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources task force on Arctic affairs and the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture strategic policy formation working group.

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Gemma Smith

PhD Student of Systems Science, an MSc in Environmental Management, and a Bachelor of Law are the foundations of my interdisciplinary research interests in marine, coastal and estuarine management. Currently researching the role of Socio-Ecological Systems within complex adaptive management regarding marine quality assessment, spatial planning, and informant management responses.

Watch the YouTube recording here.