Panel discussion at ICES ASC 2019. Photographer: Natalie Greppi.

Work package 7: Governance of mesopelagic resources

This research topic will address the governance of mesopelagic fisheries and its implications for carbon resources in the mesopelagic zone. The topic makes up work package 7 of the MEESO project. 


This work package will address the governance of mesopelagic fisheries and its implications for carbon resources in the mesopelagic zone. This will involve a review of the policy landscape for mesopelagic fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon resources in regions within and beyond national jurisdiction. The economic value of carbon sequestration will be considered.

This research will use the results from task 4.4 and task 5.3, which provide estimates of carbon sequestration rates (i.e. sources and sinks), and evaluate the economic implications of current policies with regards to IPCC carbon emission and mesopelagic resource use scenarios. It will consider how the economic value of carbon sequestration varies for locations where sequestration estimates are available from the project’s data and models, and link with work package 6 to consider combined effects of how different policy options affect the economic value of fishing, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration in combination.

Specific objectives

  • Conduct an institutional analysis of the aggregate governance regime for our study area. This will identify gaps and mandate synergies and conflicts among policies, legislation, and agreements pertaining to (1) harvesting and marketing mesopelagic resources, (2) conserving mesopelagic biodiversity, and (3) carbon management.

  • Use outputs from other work packages (work package 4, work package 5, work package 6) in an assessment and visualization of the trade-offs in ecosystem service values under different biomass harvesting strategies. The analysis of trade-offs between carbon and fishing values will be done spatially explicitly for three areas; The Norwegian Sea (Norwegian waters), central North Atlantic south of Iceland (international waters) and eastern North Atlantic, near the European shelf (EU waters). The selection of areas is constrained by the availability of field data and because model domains are tuned for individual basins. For relevant harvesting options, work package 7 will conduct sensitivity analyses of carbon sequestration value to society based on feasible, but uncertain, values for the social cost of carbon and other ecosystem service values as available.

  • Develop policy-oriented outreach and training materials for decision-makers in government, industry, and civil society. The outputs from work package 7 will also iteratively inform communication strategies in work package 6 and work package 8, and scenario development for modelling efforts in work package 3 and work package 5.

Learn more

Learn about the tasks of work package 7




Participants in work package 7 of the MEESO project: 

  • World Maritime University
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Wageningen University
  • Fundacion AZTI – AZTI Fundazioa
  • Institute of Marine Research
  • Marine Institute

Learn more about MEESO project partners


Work package 7 is led by World Maritime University, Sweden

Contact: Mary S. Wisz,
23 JUNE 2024