An evaluation framework developed to help select an appropriate suite of indicators to support an ecosystem approach to fisheries management was tested experimentally by asking independent experts to weight the selection criteria provided and to score indicators against those criteria in several ecological settings. The steps in selecting indicators proved to be prone to subjectivity and value judgement, and differences in scores between experts were the main factor contributing to variability in evaluation results. Having to justify scores in a written document did not improve consistency among the experts. The framework, however, did enhance transparency by explicitly stating each issue to be addressed in the selection process, and by giving experts or stakeholders the opportunity to present their values explicitly. For example, using a longer list of simpler selection criteria appeared to provide less controversial results than a shorter list of more complex ones.