Skip to Content

Ecosystem modelling in the North-West Mediterranean Sea

Workshop (Other)
EUR-OCEANS organisation / funding

This WS has been selected for co-funding after the EUR-OCEANS 2012 call for proposals.

Topic and objectives [excerpt from proposal]

Today, the sustainable management of marine living resources and the preservation of the integrity and the good environmental status of marine ecosystems has become a priority, as shown by the increasing number of framework directives and multilateral treaties in the last years (e.g. Reykjavik Declaration 1999; World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Marine Strategy Framework Directive MSFD 2008/56/CE). This worldwide movement toward ecosystem-based management requires from the scientists an ecosystem-based approach integrating ecosystems function, dynamics and also the related socioeconomic aspects such as fisheries. The development of the E2E modeling approach appears thus essential to provide support and quantitative tools to the underlying management principle set out in Europe by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Reform of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Thus, ecosystem models that integrate different trophic levels from plankton, to fish and to fishing fleets are more than ever expected.

Such models have already been developed for the Catalan Sea (CS, Coll et al. 2006, 2008) and for the Gulf of Lions (GoL; Banaru et al. in revision). Yet, these models focus on small geographical areas, while the hydrodynamic events in the region enhance the connectivity between both ecosystems. Besides, from the fisheries point of view, there are also some 'shared-stocks' between countries. In a joint effort between French (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (Ifremer) and Université de Méditerranée) and Spanish (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas CSIC and El Instituto Español de Oceanografia IEO) teams, we are willing to compare previous modeling efforts and enlarge the CS and GoL models to a larger Nord-West Mediterranean Sea (NWMS) area. This comparative approach and integration seems necessary to a joint Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in the NWMS. It will allow to further investigate issues such as productivity, habitat and fish distribution (Giannoulaki et al., 2011), connectivity (Ospina-Alvarez et al. 2012) and fleet dynamics (GFCM, 2012) across the two areas. Therefore, we propose to organize a meeting with the objective of comparing the already existing models for the GoL and CS and to start a new collaboration to create a larger E2E model valid for the North-West Mediterranean Sea (encompassing at least the Gulf of Lions and the Catalan Sea). This larger E2E model will be developed using two approaches, (1) coupling a LTL model (Eco3M) with a HTL model (OSMOSE) and (2) developing an Ecopath model combining available information from the CS and GoL regions. Project proposal March 2012 EUR-OCEANS Consortium -3-
Therefore, during our workshop we will discuss and advance towards:

  1. Comparison of available EwE models of the CS and GoL using a standardized approach to identify common structural and functional ecosystem traits,
  2. Development of two larger regional models valid for the North-West Mediterranean Sea (encompassing the Gulf of Lions and the Catalan Sea) using two approaches: EwE approach and Eco3M-OSMOSE approach.


Activity leader(s): 
• Claire Saraux, Ifremer (contact: claire.saraux [at] • Daniela Banaru, Aix-Marseille University - Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Institut Phytheas • Marta Coll, Institut de Ciéncies del Mar (ICM-CSIC)
Sète, France
Financial support: 
8 k€ to WS organizers
Start date: 
End date: 

activities | about seo