Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management

The Council defines Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) as a fishery management approach which recognizes the biological, economic, social, and physical interactions among the components of ecosystems and attempts to manage fisheries to achieve optimum yield taking those interactions into account.  The ultimate goal of EAFM is to manage for ecologically sustainable utilization of living marine resources while maintaining ecosystem productivity, structure, and function. 

EAFM Guidance Document

In August 2016, the Council approved an EAFM Guidance Document. The purpose of this document is to enhance the Council’s species-specific management programs with more ecosystem sciencebroader ecosystem considerations and management policies that coordinate Council management across FMPs and the relevant ecosystems. The EAFM guidance document is intended to provide a framework for considering policy choices and trade-offs as they affect FMP species and the broader ecosystems.


During the development of the EAFM Guidance Document, the Council held a series of workshops which brought together scientists, managers and stakeholders to discuss ecosystem-related issues and best management practices. Click on the title of a workshop below to view related background materials, presentations, and recordings. White papers from these workshops are linked in the “Additional Documents” section at the bottom of the page.