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EcoScope will develop an efficient, holistic, ecosystem-based approach to sustainable fisheries management that can be easily used by stakeholders and end-users, including policymakers and advisory bodies. 

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About the project

Fisheries exploitation is a strong driver of fish population dynamics, and overfishing is the main cause of fish stock depletion at a global scale. Existing fisheries management practices are mainly based on single- or multi-species approaches and have been unsuccessful in sustainably exploiting fish stocks. 

There is a pressing need for a holistic approach to managing fisheries, i.e. an ecosystem-based fisheries management. International, regional, and national regulations also require that fish stocks be managed in a sustainable way. 

EcoScope will develop a platform in the form of an e-tool which will organise and homogenise climatic, oceanographic, biogeochemical, biological and fisheries datasets for European seas to a common standard type and format. This info will be presented to users through user-friendly layers of electronic maps. 

The project will also develop the EcoScope Toolbox, which will use an interdisciplinary scoring system integrating oceanographic, climatic, environmental, habitat, biological, community, fisheries, and economic indicators. The toolbox will use artificial intelligence and machine learning in ecosystem management. It will include ecosystem models, socio-economic indicators, and fisheries and ecosystem assessment tools. These can be used to examine and develop fisheries management and marine policy scenarios as well as maritime spatial planning simulations. EcoScope’s ambition is for the EcoScope Toolbox to become a universal scoring system that can be applied around the world. 

In addition, the project will develop a series of capacity building tools, such as online courses, documentary films, webinars, games, and a mobile application. These tools will all be available to stakeholders through the EcoScope Academy to promote efficient, ecosystem-based management of fisheries and to ensure maximum and continuous participation of stakeholders. 

EcoScope applies novel assessment methods for data-poor fisheries, including non-commercial species, as well as for biodiversity and the conservation status of protected megafauna. This will include an assessment of the status of all ecosystem components across European seas and will test new technologies for evaluating the environmental, anthropogenic, and climatic impact on ecosystems and fisheries. 


The international EcoScope project is comprised of 24 partners from Greece, Bulgaria, Germany, Canada, Israel, Philippines, Spain, France, Belgium, UK, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Malta, Norway, Switzerland and Cyprus. The partners include universities and research institutions, NGO’s, technology companies and businesses. 

NIVA leads the EcoScope work on assessing societal expectations and economic values. This includes 

  • assessing the societal expectations and preferences of current fisheries management vs. ecosystem-based management 

  • developing fisheries economics indicators by analysing human consumption of fish, fishers' income, and governmental subsidies 

  • developing an integrated framework (bioeconomic modelling) to assess the effects of future changes in the marine ecosystem including biological interactions, habitats, climate change, and fisheries 

  • evaluating the management and governance implications of using indicators that link economy to ecology in ecosystem-based fisheries management