Uncertain futures: Building scenarios and models for marine ecosystems An emblematic case study: the Barents SeaInternal


Activity Overview

Type: Foresight Workshop
Start Date: June 1, 2016
End Date: June 3, 2016
Venue: IMR, Tromsø (Norway)
Contact: Christian Mullon
E-mail: Christian.Mullon [at] ird.fr
Funding Call: EuroMarine 2015 Call for Proposals
Decision Body: EuroMarine Steering Committee
Total Budget: €15,300
Funds Granted: €7,500

Manager(s): Christian Mullon

The Barents Sea provides an emblematic case study with several questions central to the current understanding and management of its fisheries resource within an ecosystem context.

The main objective of this EuroMarine foresight workshop in IMR Tromsø is to develop narratives for specific scenarios on the possible future of the Barents Sea. It will explore how complex models used to project future states of the Barents Sea ecological and economic system can handle uncertainties in scenarios. The 20 workshop participants will analyse how these uncertainties can be handled in quantitative ecosystem and bio-economic models.

This workshop will result in two peer reviewed articles; one on scenario narratives for the future of the Barents Sea including guidelines for the ecological and economic projections, and one on the uncertainties for the future of marine systems in this area. A network will be developed with the scientists, stakeholders and managers to further address the certainty and uncertainty within the scenarios and models.

These results are expected to have a direct impact on the application of scientific research for the management of the Barents Sea as well as strengthening the basis for collaboration between scientists, stakeholders and managers at a regional level. This project is a continuation of a previous EuroMarine workshop and has links to a specific program about the future of the Barents Sea. It is very relevant under IPBES work on scenarios.


  • A paper is to be submittedd by the end of 2016.
  • An internet role playing game entitled Playing to fisheries management has been created based on the Ecosystem Based Management triangle (Röckmann et al., 2015). The draft of the paper associated with the above 'serious game' is written.

The EuroMarine Barents Sea workshop attracted 16 participants from Denmark, Norway, France, Scotland and Sweden. The workshop was attended by representatives of 12 organisations, such as research institutions, Universities, Government Ministries, NGOs and Fishing Associations. This ensured that the specialists present covered a range of fields including fisheries science, ecosystem studies, economics, political science, petroleum-fish interactions, numerical modelling as well as representatives from the petroleum, fishing and tourism sectors.

This three-day workshop gave an overview of the Barents Sea and introduced the scenarios and possible futures of the Barents Sea related to ecosystems, fisheries management, ocean climate and governance. The participants then answered questions on the ability of numerical models to address stakeholders demands and the need to manage uncertainties and stakeholders expectations. A key discussion focused on what is next for the scenarios, models and uncertainties of future of the Barents Sea. The workshop resulted in network building between scientists, fishermen, managers and conservation organisations. A manuscript is in preparation on the topic of multiple-perspective scenario-building for marine social-ecological systems. A second manuscript about uncertainties and a serious game about interactions between scientists, managers and stakeholders is in the development phase.