The conservation of biological diversity is a key principle of the North Sea Ecosystem Approach to management.
Fishing is perhaps the most widespread impacting activity in the North Sea and thus there is a clear need to
inform managers of the consequences of their actions on diversity. MAFCONS aims to close the gap between our
understanding of the community structuring processes that drive variation in diversity of fish and invertebrates
and the mechanisms through which fishing affects these.|
Ultimately, the overall aim of MAFCONS is to provide the scientific advisors to fisheries managers with the
mathematical tools that would allow them to quantify the consequences to groundfish and benthic invertebrate
species diversity of achieving particular fisheries objectives. These tools will be based on rigorous testing
of hypotheses based on a sound understanding of the ecological theory underpinning marine communities.