Advanced school on Multispecies Modelling Approaches for Ecosystem Based Marine Resource Management in the Mediterranean SeaInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Capacity building and training
, Type: Course
Start Date: July 30, 2017
End Date: August 5, 2017
Venue: Granitola Torretta, Trapani, Italy
Website: school website
Contact: Simone Libralato
E-mail: slibralato [at]
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2016 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €17,770
Funds Granted: €5,000

Manager(s): Simone Libralato
Co-organiser(s): Cosimo Solidoro
Application/registration deadline: April 30, 2017


Mediterranean fisheries resources are giving worrying signals of overexploitation and this critical situation appears difficult to reverse with current management approaches. Thus in order to provide management advice on the direct and indirect impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystem within an ecosystem based approaches to marine resource management (EAM) framework, there is a requirement for a shift from single species to multispecies advice where the management of one component of the ecosystem will depend on that of other components.20-25 participants will convene around the tentative dates in June or June 2017 to work on these issues.


The advanced school is going to represent an annual recurrence for PhD students, researchers and policy-makers to learn about models specifically developed for multispecies approaches and how to use them.


Topics covered for each methodology considered will include data requirements, how to deal with data deficiencies, and how these models can provide practical scientific advice to policy and management. The school will include in depth understanding of functioning, applicability, capabilities and limitations of models and analytical approaches. During the various editions of the advanced school, different multispecies and holistic approaches (e.g., MSVPA, MICE models, size based models, Multispecies age-structured assessment model MSASA, Gadget, Atlantis, Osmose, ISISfish, Ecopath with Ecosim, and others) will be presented, discussed and applied. The final aim is not necessarily to include more complex data or analytical approaches, but rather to be more comprehensive in the range of factors being considered to manage a fishery.

Expected Outcomes

The advanced school represents a forum for establishing best practice in multi-species assessment methods through review, evaluation and comparison of models and approaches. Scholars attending the advanced school will incorporate knowledge on multispecies models development and integration into practical management advice. This is particularly important for people coming from Mediterranean non UE and developing countries, where such transdisciplinary approaches are still not widespread. The school will serve the Mediterranean community involved in assessing, studying and/or managing marine resources and working both in data rich and data poor conditions, with the final objective to contribute to capacity building in EAM, to increase cooperation, to facilitate the sharing of methodologies and to foster transboundary actions toward sustainable exploitation of marine resources. Each year 30 scholars will be introduced to multispecies modelling applied to EAM. A report including guidelines on multispecies modelling for Mediterranean case studies will be produced.

The proposed event and other organised schools will provide continuative inputs to the community for improving, developing, applying quantitative approaches for the EAM.

Co-organisers: Angelo Bonanno, Piera Carpi, Francesco Colloca, Tomaso Fortibuoni, Elisabetta B. Morello, Sasa Raicevich, Giuseppe Scarcella, Cosimo Solidoro, Fabio Fiorentino

Co-organisers (institutions): CNR, CEFAS, ISPRA, CSIRO

Key participants (institutions): SLU, SAFS-UW


The advanced school was successfully held in the premises of CNR-IAMC at Torretta di Capogranitola (Trapani, Italy) from Sunday 30 July 2017 to Saturday 5th August 2017. The 24 selected applicants participating in AMARE-MED were from 12 different countries (Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, UK, Germany, and Hungary). The main activities of the school involved actively participating in the lectures, exercises, programming and discussions. The lectures of Valerio Bartolino (SLU) exposed the students to detailed information on GADGET files and parametrization, as well as likelihood and model optimization.

A multispecies GADGET example for Baltic Sea was presented and run by students through R gadget. The lectures of Andrè Punt (UOW) provided introductory aspects on modelling and MICE, including likelihood optimization and model selection, theory on models for fisheries management, and application of the MICE Adriatic case study that resulted in a series of modelling exercises on sardine, anchovy and hake in the Adriatic Sea using opportunely developed R codes. The insights, lectures and programming activities gave basis for a comparative discussion on the two approaches, their insights, differences, limitations and data needed. Evaluation forms completed by participants gave a positive evaluation of AMARE-MED.