Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Ecosystem-Based Management

Fishermen in Hakai Pass on the Central Coast of B.C. Photo: J.G. Brouwer

In 2012 Living Oceans’ researchers defined 26 principles of ‘ecosystem-based management’ (EBM) as a tool to determine how to best manage ocean-based businesses and coastal economies so they will continue to provide for our communities well into the future. EBM is based on the four pillars of ocean health: living things, food webs, habitat, and the chemistry of the ocean itself. This is a new approach to ocean planning—until now, we’ve only worried about our impacts on a handful of valuable species. With EBM, the scope is broadened to consider how our activities impact all species and the habitats they depend upon, including deep-sea corals, kelp beds, marine mammals, the water they swim in and the plankton they eat.

We are also working to ensure that these EBM principles are used in the protection of the Scott Islands sea birds, Hecate Strait Sponge Reefs and Bowie Seamount by participating in the management planning processes for these MPAs.

EBM principles are being incorporated into the Pacific North Coast Inte­grated Management Area (PNCIMA) draft plans and in the products of Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast where we repre­sent the conservation sector on planning committees.