A New Ecosystem Science Framework in Support of Integrated Management

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DFO Science is working to ensure a vibrant and sustainable aquatic science program that is based on excellence, continues to support DFO and Government of Canada priorities, and better serves Canadians. Scientific capacity and resources are being challenged to meet the increasingly complex and growing requirement for science advice, projects and services to support the department’s strategic outcomes, federal policies, programs, decisions and regulations. Therefore, aligning DFO Science activities with existing and emerging priorities, both within the department and across the federal government, presents an additional challenge.

The Science Management Board (SMB) was established in 2005 to provide strategic direction to the Science program, identify issues that affect DFO’s ability to meet mandated objectives, and select priorities in need of Science support. At its first meeting, which was held in October 2005, the SMB confirmed that the highest priority for DFO Science is providing scientific support for ecosystem-based management. To provide this support, DFO Science needs a framework for realigning its focus to ensure the long-term stability of the monitoring and data management programs, and to maximize flexibility in the area of research and the provision of products, services, and, particularly, scientific advice to respond to changing needs.

This document provides the rationale for an ecosystem science approach and describes the proposed framework for realigning the DFO Science program to support an ecosystem approach to management and better reflect an ecosystem science program.