By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (

The long-running BBC radio program Desert Island Discs asks public figures what things – including musical choices, a book, and a luxury item – they would take with them to a deserted island. The program has inspired many similar challenges over the years.

I was recently asked to make a list of what I considered to be the top 10 publications on ecosystem-based management, and for fun I envisioned it as a desert island list. Granted, the thought of being on a deserted isle with only books on EBM to read may seem less than thrilling. However, the following library would amply support the creation of a robust management framework around the island in the reader's free time.

I have listed these publications in no particular order:

  • Taking Steps Toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: An Introductory Guide (UNEP, 2011) click for link

Incidentally, of all the publications on this list to have on a desert island, the Taking Steps guide is the one that could truly provide entertainment as well as information. The guide's images are attractive and the conceptual diagrams are outstanding. I understand that a second print run and improvements to the hardcopy layout are coming soon.

  • Ocean and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: Implementation Handbook (Environmental Law Institute, 2009)click for link
  • "Integrated Ecosystem Assessments: Developing the Scientific Basis for Ecosystem-Based Management of the Ocean" (Levin et al., PLoS Biology, 2009) click for link
  • "Marine Ecosystem-Based Management in Practice: Scientific and Governance Challenges" (Ruckelshaus et al., BioScience, 2008) click for link
  • "Marine ecosystem-based management: from characterization to implementation" (Arkema, K.K., S.C. Abramson, and B.M. Dewsbury, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2006) click for link
  • Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2009 (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, 2009) click for link
  • Marine Spatial Planning: A Step-by-Step Approach Toward Ecosystem-Based Management (Ehler, C. and F. Douvere, UNESCO, 2009) click for link
  • "Ecosystem-based marine spatial management: Review of concepts, policies, tools, and critical issues" (Katsanevakis et al., Ocean and Coastal Management, 2011) click for link
  • Ocean Zoning: Making Marine Management More Effective (Agardy, T., Earthscan, 2010) click for link
  • Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans (McLeod, K. and H. Leslie eds., Island Press, 2009) click for link