DOI: 10.14466/CefasDataHub.44

Management Strategy Evaluation toolkit for Ecopath with Ecosim (model output and technical report)


This dataset consists of output from a computer model that predicts responses of 69 functional groups from plankton to whales to changing fishing pressure. Scenarios are run using the newly built plug-in (see report) that allows for an assessment of the effect of model parameter uncertainty. The base model is the ICES key-run of EwE for the North Sea described here

Format of the data: Zipped csv files covering the hindcast period 1991-2013 (inclusive) with 20 year forecasts.

Output includes annual average values for the whole North Sea:

For both functional groups and fishing fleets: landings (tonnage and value, £), discards (tonnage),

For functional groups only: biomass (tonnage) and fishing mortality (split by landings and discards)

For fishing fleets only: fishing effort relative to 1990.

Also identified are 'choke species' that lead to closure of fisheries.

The report (pdf) describes the development of a tool for assessing the effect of model parameter uncertainty on the performance of management options simulated using an ecosystem model. It provides the rationale, description of methods and algorithms, and a step-by-step guide for users of the tool. While the interface of the tool is designed to be user friendly, the setup of input files and its application requires a thorough understanding of the parameterisation of Ecopath models, advanced experience with Ecosim and understanding of Management Strategy Evaluation procedures.

Model data arise from 1000 simluations run to evaluate the European Commissions proposed North Sea Multi-Annual Plan for demersal stocks (EC 2016/0493). The possible impacts of the plan are evaluated in terms of its likely outcomes to achieve management objectives for fishing pressure, species' biomass, fishery yield, the landed value of key species and ecosystem objectives (given change in indicators). Full details are given in Mackinson et al. (in review) and Cefas contract report MF1228 Milestone 1.2 "Contribute to the development of regional long-term management plans based on an ecosystem approach" Christopher Lynam and Steven Mackinson. 12 June 2017.


Mackinson, Steve / Platts, Mark / Buzowski, Joe / Steenbeek, Jeroen / Walters, Carl / Hadeler, Silvia / Rossberg, Axel / Garcia, Clement / Lynam, Christopher


Fish / Fisheries / Fish biomass in water bodies / Fishing by-catch

Start Date


End Date


Year Published





Mackinson et al. (2017). Management Strategy Evaluation toolkit for Ecopath with Ecosim (model output and technical report). Cefas, UK. V1. doi: