Marine ecosystems are under pressure from both anthropogenic climate change and high exploitation rates. A major challenge to managers and scientists today is to identify ways that oceans can provide food and other services in a sustainable way under changing climatic and socioeconomic conditions.
Interdisciplinary research needed
Physical, biological and socioeconomic factors interact at several levels, and cross-disciplinary approaches are needed to meet this challenge. There is also a need for combining economic and ecological approaches to the study of fish and fisheries. Predicting the consequences of climate change is complicated by the fact that the ecological effects of climate and fishing may change the behaviour of fishers (individual fishermen or nations).
Truly cross-disciplinary studies are still rare, but there is an increasing interest in incorporating detail and realism into effect studies. Research and training is primarily conducted by specialists within each field. This tradition for isolated in-depth studies is likely to miss important interaction effects.
In order to meet the challenges imposed by the changing climate and the continued high pressure on marine resources, this has to change. Scientists of the future need the cross-disciplinary skills to combine physical, biological, and social/economic science in order to give management advice on the ecosystem level.
Nordic Centre of Excellence
On behalf of the Top-level Research Initiative (TRI), Nordforsk will support a new Nordic Centre of Excellence: NorMER - Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change to be administered by the CEES in the Department of Biology at the University of Oslo. This is a cross-Nordic collaborative project starting in 2011 and funded over five years with a total budget of 65.5 million NOK
This collaborative project combines the expertise of internationally recognized research teams from all of the Nordic countries to implement a broad international and multidisciplinary research strategy to explore the biological, economic, and societal consequences of global climate change on fisheries resources in the Nordic region, with a primary focus on the Atlantic cod.
Baltic Nest Institute contributions
BNI researchers Thorsten Blenckner, Wijnand Boonstra and Johanna Yletyinen will contribute will research on:
* Food web dynamics, networks and interactions in the Baltic Sea
* Fishery management in the Baltic Sea
Read more about the aims of NorMER and other participating research groups
More information on the official NorMER home page
Read Wijnand Boonstra's blogs: