This webinar originally aired on 16 September 2021.

Presented by: Jon Hare of NOAA Fisheries

Ecosystem-based management is a ‘wicked problem’, that is, a problem that is impossible or nearly impossible to solve because it is so complex. When I made the switch from scientist to scientific administrator in NOAA Fisheries in 2016, I brought a natural scientist’s perspective to ecosystem-based management (EBM), emphasizing understanding the components of an ecosystem and providing this understanding to managers as scientific advice. As I embarked on my new job – working with fishers to reduce the risk of entanglement to North Atlantic Right Whales; providing advice on how to balance the needs of offshore wind-energy development, commercial and recreational fishing, and wildlife conservation; and working to bring climate and ecosystem information into fisheries management – I came to realize that a different approach to management and decision-making – incrementalism – is needed. Incrementalism recognizes stakeholders (including scientists) have different perspective of the issues and that decision-making represents a compromise among these different perspectives. It provides for continued work on a problem and implements decisions stepwise with the participation of all stakeholders. In this webinar, I will discuss the origins of incrementalism, how it can be applied to fisheries management and marine EBM, and 10 lessons that I have learned for carrying out NOAA Fisheries’ mission to provide advice “backed by sound science and an ecosystem-based approach to management”.

Co-sponsors: OCTO (EBM Tools Network, The Skimmer, OpenChannels, MPA News,