Third Main Meeting - October 2016, Helsinki

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Third Main Meeting – October 2016, Helsinki

BONUS GOHERR – Integrated governance of Baltic herring and salmon stocks involving stakeholders

MINUTES / P. Haapasaari

Time: 3-5 October 2016

Place: Svenska Social- och Kommunalhögskolan, Snellmaninkatu 12 (3-4 October) Biocenter 1, Viikinkaari 3 (5 October)

Participants: Magnus Huss (SLU) (3-4 Oct), Philip Jacobson (SLU) (3-4 Oct), Alyne Delaney (IFM-AAU), Jouni Tuomisto (THL) (3-4 Oct), Arja Asikainen (THL) (3-4 Oct), Simo Sarkki (UOul), Mia Pihlajamäki (UOul), Annukka Lehikoinen (UH), Sakari Kuikka (UH) (3-4 Oct), Suvi Ignatius (UH), Andris Andrusaitis (BONUS Secretariat) (3 Oct), Päivi Haapasaari (UH).


Monday 3 October


The meeting started at 13.00 with the introduction of all participants; Philip, Magnus and Annukka participated in GOHERR meetings for their first time. Andris Andrusaitis from BONUS Secretariat attended the meeting on Monday. Andris presented a few slides regarding the situation of our first periodical reporting (accepted) and networking in BONUS projects, and told about a few forthcoming events. He recommended the GOHERR-researchers to participate in the conference “Science delivery for sustainable use of the Baltic Sea living resources”, which will be organised by INSPIRE and BIO-C3 projects on 17-19 October 2017 in Tallinn, and in a clustering event organised by BALTSPACE which aims to address generic issues related to virtual decision support tools and will possibly create a “BONUS toolbox”. Nothing special regarding administrative issues was on the agenda, and the main message from GOHERR partners was that everything is fine.

WP2 Socio-cultural use, value, and governance of Baltic salmon and herring

Suvi and Alyne presented the situation of Task 2.1c (Interviews with key stakeholder groups on the socio-cultural importance and use of Baltic salmon and herring in selected case studies) and Task 2.1e (Selected interviews filmed and edited). Interviewing was started in May 2016 in Estonia (Tallinn and Pärnu). Since that, Suvi has conducted a few interviews in Finland. During October-November, fieldtrips will be directed to the Northern Bothnian Bay and Tornionjoki region in Finland (Suvi and Päivi) and to Sweden (from south up to Kalix river) (Alyne). During autumn-spring 2016-2017, interviews will also be conducted in Denmark (Christiansö/Bornholm etc.) (Alyne). Selected interviews have been / will be filmed and edited, by Alyne.

Suvi gave a summary of Task 2.1d (Socio-cultural valuation study). The justification theory introduced by Boltanski and Thevenot (1999) is used as a theoretical tool for exploring how people in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia value Baltic salmon and herring. The study regarding values attached to Baltic herring was presented by Suvi in the 13th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics in September 29th 2016, and a reviewed paper was published on the Congress proceedings by Wageningen Academic Publishers. A journal article is being written, to more comprehensively introduce the justification theory and to demonstrate how it can be applied to Baltic salmon (D2.6). The study regarding values was also presented in the ICES Annual Science Conference in September 23rd 2016.

Alyne presented plans for Task 2.2c (Integrate Task 2.1 and 2.2a&b results to analyse how Baltic Sea governance structures and management are related to salmon and herring values). For this task, the background reports (Tasks 2.1 and 2.2) have been completed, and the work will take place in late spring/summer 2017. Päivi talked about Task 2.2e (Feed results into the decision support model (WP6) to develop scenarios for nested and regionalised governance systems for Baltic Salmon and herring management), which also links to WP6 (Decision support model to analyse the success of different types of governance structures in implementing ecosystem-based management). The suggestion was to incorporate the idea of the integrated management of salmon, herring, and dioxin, in the decision nodes, by exploring what would be the consequences if decisions related to the different sectors were implemented at the same time (vs. not).

Päivi presented Task 2.3b (Suggest frameworks for integrated governance systems for salmon and herring). The idea here is to suggest potential governance structures for integrated management based on the idea of a nested and regionalised governance system, where the EU level sets principles and long term objectives, whereas the regional level designs implementation plans and guidelines, involving stakeholders. Päivi also presented plans for Task 2.3c in which the aim is to provide options for delivering integrated scientific advice on a regional basis for salmon and herring and the dioxin problem. In this task, the potential and requirements for integrated advice as well as the potential governance framework, sectors and actors involved will be considered, and the related processes will be pondered. In addition, Päivi presented a slide to refresh memory of the differences between the concepts of management, governance, and governing.

WP3 Scenarios and management objectives

Mia presented the work carried out in Task 3.1 (Defining desired future state and objectives for integrated salmon and herring policy) and its results, i.e. the identified management objectives for Baltic salmon and herring, and their prioritisation. She concluded that the task has been finalised. As for Task 3.2 (Identifying desirable future paths to reach the objectives), the empirical material was gathered during the first international stakeholder workshop, which focused on the dioxin problem of Baltic herring. Mia presented the analysis of the pathways created in the workshop to increase the use of herring for human consumption. Two sets of pathways were identified, those that aimed to increase food security and those that aimed to food safety. She presented the results in the 13th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics in September 29th 2016, and a reviewed paper was published on the Congress proceedings by Wageningen Academic Publishers. This paper was reported as D3.1 in May 2016. A scientific journal article based on the workshop is also in writing. Mia then presented the scenarios built in Task 3.3 (Building scenarios). A summary of the scenarios (D3.2) was published in Opasnet in July 2016. The scenarios were presented in the ICES Annual Science Conference in September 23rd 2016. D3.3 “Exploring futures of the Baltic salmon and herring by assessing potential impacts of ecosystem approach”, which is due in March 2016, will be based on these scenarios. In D3.4, which is due in March 2017, the normative backcasting exercise and explorative scenario building approach are combined to create robust recommendations. D3.5 is a scenario methodology paper in which Bayesian method is combined with explorative and normative scenario methods. The deadline of the deliverable will be postponed from M 26 to M36, in order to include the Bayesian methodology in the paper.

WP4 Linking fish physiology to food production and bioaccumulation of dioxin

Magnus and Philip presented the work that has been carried out in SLU, and plans for continuing that work. They explained the life-history and feeding behaviour of Baltic salmon, as well as size specific predator-prey interactions between salmon and their prey. They also clarified the availability of different prey (sprat and herring) for salmon. It was concluded that size-dependent predator-prey interactions are important to account for to understand how salmon feed, and further to understand the mechanisms how dioxin accumulates in predator-prey interaction. Philip and Magnus told how dioxin content in herring differs between areas and with body length. They also told how salmon uptakes dioxins and how the clearance takes place. They illustrated how WP4 model will be used to explore size- and food-dependencies to understand the bioaccumulation of dioxins in herring-salmon food web, and how size selective fishing could be utilised to manipulate this. Lastly, Philip and Magnus presented a status summary of WP4 (and WP5 concerning SLU work) deliverables. A research essay has been written by Philip, titled “Effects of size dependent predator-prey interactions and fisheries on population dynamics and bioaccumulation of dioxins and PCBs in Baltic salmon, Salmo salar L., and its fish prey”, and published in the SLU series Aqua Introductory Research Essay (2016:2).

WP5 Linking the health of the Baltic Sea with the health of humans: Dioxin

Arja presented some preliminary results of the questionnaire study conducted in Task 5.3 (Determinants of fish eating habits). The questionnaire was targeted to a large sample of consumers in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden, to analyse their fish eating habits. The results of the questionnaire will be used in Task 5.4., to assess benefits and risks of previous, current and future fish intake. The questionnaire study was conducted in autumn 2016, with about 500 respondents from each country. The actual analysis will be done in Oct-Nov 2016 and the results will be uploaded to Opasnet. As for Task 5.4 (Benefit-risk assessment of previous, current and future fish intake), Arja presented the model structure of the health-benefit risk model, which is also described in the assessment page of Opasnet. The contents of the input variables of the model will be updated in Oct 2016-Jan 2017. Building the R-code, running the model and updating results to Opasnet will take place during Nov 2016-March 2017. Input variables and states for the decision support model of WP6 will be defined in more detail during Oct 2016 and Jan 2017.

WP7 Dissemination

Päivi told that UH will arrange a Decision Analysis course in February 2016, for about 20 students; 10 from UH and 10 from BONUS projects. It was discussed whether one or two stakeholder workshops more should be organised, and what should be the topics. Regionalised governance for salmon, herring and dioxin was regarded an important topic for a workshop.

The meeting ended at 18.30

Tuesday 4 Oct

Masters thesis

On Tuesday, the meeting started at 8.30 with a presentation by Tuuli Teittinen, who has written a masters’ thesis for the project, focusing on dioxin emission sources to the Baltic Sea. The participants of the meeting regarded the work well done and extremely interesting, and a discussion followed on whether and how the study could continue from the qualitative concept maps that Tuuli created, towards quantitative modelling.

WP6 Building a decision support model for integrated governance

The rest of the day was used for discussing the decision support model, led by Annukka, who now has the key role in building the model. She presented the biological modelling work that she had done with SLU researchers, and the related variables and links were discussed, one by one. In addition, the parts of the model that relate to the impacts of salmon and herring eating on human health, were discussed in more detail. Annukka will travel to Kuopio in November, to further elaborate the human health parts of the model, together with the THL researchers. In addition, she will visit SLU at the beginning of December, to update the situation of WP4 model in relation to WP6.

The meeting ended at 16.30.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Group work

Wednesday was dedicated for working in small groups between WP2, WP3, and WP6. This meant specifying the requirements of the decision support model regarding scenarios for dioxin input, euthrophication, salmon policy and herring use. The discussion led to a preliminary plan for building a separate Bayesian model for exploring the scenarios in relation to fundamental and means objectives for Baltic salmon and herring, as analysed in WP3. Plans were made for realising the deliverables listed in WP2 and WP3: what will be the focus of each article, and who will contribute to writing them. A separate memo has been written about those plans, and distributed to WP2 and WP3 researchers.

The meeting ended at 16.00. The next project meeting will be held in Öregrund, Sweden, spring 2017 (scheduled to M24, i.e. March).