Ecopath with Ecosim is a free ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 modelling software suite
Software suite
A software suite or application suite is a collection of computer programs, usually application software and programming software of related functionality, often sharing a more-or-less common user interface and some ability to smoothly exchange data with each other.Sometimes software makers...

. It was initially a NOAA initiative led by Jeffrey Polovina, but since primarily developed at the Fisheries Centre
Fisheries Centre
The Fisheries Centre, located at the University of British Columbia, promotes multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and broad-based collaboration with maritime communities, government, NGOs and other partners...

 of the University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a public research university. UBC’s two main campuses are situated in Vancouver and in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley...

. In 2007, it was named as one of the ten biggest scientific breakthroughs in NOAA’s 200-year history. The citation states that Ecopath “revolutionized scientists’ ability worldwide to understand complex marine ecosystems”. Behind this lies two decades of development work in association with Villy Christensen
Villy Christensen
Villy Christensen is an ecosystem modeller with a background in fisheries science. He is known for his work as a project leader and core developer of Ecopath, an ecosystem modelling software system widely used in fisheries management. Ecopath was initially an initiative of the NOAA, but since...

, Carl Walters
Carl Walters
Carl Walters is an American born biologist known for his work involving fisheries stock assessments, the adaptive management concept, and ecosystem modeling. Walters has been a professor of Zoology and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia since 1969...

, Daniel Pauly
Daniel Pauly
Daniel Pauly is a French-born marine biologist, well-known for his work in studying human impacts on global fisheries. He is a professor and the project leader of the Sea Around Us Project at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia. He also served as Director of the Fisheries...

, and other fisheries scientists, followed with the provision of user support and training. Currently there are 6000 registered users in 155 countries.


EwE has three main components:
  • Ecopath – a static, mass-balanced snapshot of the system

  • Ecosim – a time dynamic simulation module for policy exploration

  • Ecospace – a spatial and temporal dynamic module primarily designed for exploring impact and placement of protected areas.


The Ecopath software package can be used to:
  • address ecological questions

  • evaluate ecosystem effects of fishing

  • explore management policy options
    Fisheries management
    Fisheries management draws on fisheries science in order to find ways to protect fishery resources so sustainable exploitation is possible. Modern fisheries management is often referred to as a governmental system of appropriate management rules based on defined objectives and a mix of management...

  • analyze impact and placement of marine protected area
    Marine Protected Area
    Marine Protected Areas, like any protected area, are regions in which human activity has been placed under some restrictions in the interest of conserving the natural environment, it's surrounding waters and the occupant ecosystems, and any cultural or historical resources that may require...


  • predict movement and accumulation of contaminants
    Marine pollution
    Marine pollution occurs when harmful, or potentially harmful effects, can result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals, particles, industrial, agricultural and residential waste, noise, or the spread of invasive organisms. Most sources of marine pollution are land based...

     and tracers (Ecotracer)

  • model effect of environmental changes

Development of the newest version, EwE6 received supported from the Lenfest Ocean Program and the Pew Charitable trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts is an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization , founded in 1948. With over US$5 billion in assets, its current mission is to serve the public interest by "improving public policy, informing the public, and stimulating civic life."-History:The Trusts, a single...


External links

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