Foto: Maria Kaspersen.

Ecosystem based marine management

DTU Aqua's research in ecosystem-based marine management focuses on direct and indirect impacts of fisheries on the marine environment.

The objective of DTU Aqua's research into ecosystem based marine management is to develop knowledge and tools that can be used as the basis for advice on ecosystem based fisheries management taking overall environmental goals as reflected in environmental policy into account.

Main themes within ecosystem based marine management

Research on ecosystem-based marine management has four main themes:

  • Quantitative analyses of indicators and indicator thresholds in relation to the definition of good environmental status under the EU Marine Strategy Directive.
  • Development of methods to minimize unwanted by-catch of e.g. mammals and implementation of alternative fishing gear to minimize negative interactions between marine mammals and fisheries.
  • Methods for advice on spatial fisheries management measures.
  • Assessment of the effects of interactions with predator and prey fish stocks.          

Why do we conduct research into ecosystem based marine management?

Ecosystem-based marine management is a requirement in many of the current policies and directives. The principle is that fishing should be sustainable in an ecosystem context such that both the structure and function of the ecosystem is preserved.

What is the research used for?

The results of DTU Aqua's research into ecosystem-based marine management are used mainly for advising the authorities involved in the management of fisheries; the European Union, the Danish  Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Danish Ministry of Environment. Moreover, we advise international organizations, including the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The advice focuses on the implementation of EU Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy, the revised EU Common Fisheries Policy and the EU Habitats and Water Framework Directives.









Project websites

SAF Handbook
The webbased Systems Approach Framework (SAF) Handbook provides a stepwise guide to sustainable Integrated Coastal Management. The SAF provides a platform for integrating trans-disciplinary scientific evidence and stakeholder knowledge towards collaborative decision-making.
Go to the SAF Handbook

This project aimed to improve our understanding of how environmental man-made factors are impacting marine ecosystems and affect the range of goods and services provided by the oceans. DTU Aqua developed end-to-end ecosystem models of bio-geo-chemical interactions and anthropogenic impacts, spatial statistical models and analyzed data on fish biodiversity.
Go to the project website 

This project produced tools necessary to determine the economically optimal level of ecologically sustainable exploitation in European fisheries. 
Go to the project website 

This project explored possibilities for cooperation among North Sea countries on maritime spatial planning. 
Go to the project website 

This project analyaed possible conflicts between fisheries and conservation objectives in marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea. 
Go to the project website

Clean Nordic Oceans
A Nordic network to exchange knowledge and experience about methods and measures to reduce the effects of ghost fishing, littering of the oceans and to increase recycling.
Go to the project website


Anna Rindorf
Ph. +45 35 88 33 78