Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



In this report we provide a framework for implementing ecosystem based management (EBM) and suggest a range of science information tools and their appropriate application to the decision making process. These tools can be broadly classified as modeling tools, decision analysis tools, and indicators. Modeling tools allow the user to organize data, communicate scientific findings to management and stakeholder audiences, and test alternative management scenarios. When used unwisely, however, models can preclude options, present unusable scenarios, generate results in scales that differ from management needs, and impose huge time, data, and technical requirements (Manno et al., 2008). Decision analysis tools can inform management decisions but should not be relied upon solely; they are valuable aids in the process and provide opportunities for all-stakeholder input, visualization, and scenario analysis. Indicators are scientific measurements of ecological or socio-economic phenomena that provide data for monitoring and evaluating the systems being managed. While indicators are by and large widely accepted, their selection is based on expert opinion and involves a level of subjectivity. Inappropriately selected indicators can misinform management decisions. By helping to identify and mitigate lack of information, these science tools can be of great value in the shift to ecosystem based management.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.