Integrated management of the marine environment requires a holistic understanding of marine ecosystems, rather than focusing on single issues, species, or ecosystem services in isolation. Marine ecosystem models are an important analytical approach to: integrate knowledge, data, and information; improve understanding on ecosystem functioning; and complement monitoring and observation efforts. They also offer the potential to predict the response of marine ecosystems to future scenarios and to support the implementation of ecosystem-based management of our seas and ocean.
Europe has an excellent capability in Marine Ecosystem Modelling and these are being increasingly used as a tool for ecosystem management. However, there remains a mismatch between scientific research and what policy makers need to know. EMB Future Science Brief 4 examines current state-of-the-art in Europe and beyond and recommends key areas where marine ecosystem modelling capability could be strengthened, including ways to better connect models, observations and societal needs.