ICES Annual Science Conference 2015


​The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea is pleased to welcome you to the city of Copenhagen for our Annual Science Conference 2015.

​​​​​​​​​Copenhagen is a place of fairy tales. Palaces, towers, and spires complete with dragons populate the cityscape. It was here in the 1800s that Hans Christian Andersen created his world of little mermaids, ugly ducklings, and great sea serpents. However, as a coastal city, Copenhagen doesn’t expect happily ever afters. It leads the way globally in sustainable urban planning, preparing for the challenges that climate change will bring.

Change is also something that ICES is prepared for. When we launched our Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan last year, we wrote a new chapter in the story of our organization. Our Strategic Plan charts a course for ICES over the next five years against a rapidly changing marine science policy landscape. With the support of ICES member countries, our main pillars (science, advice, data and information, and the Secretariat) are committed to building a foundation of science around one key challenge: integrated ecosystem understanding.

The ICES Annual Science Conference is a meeting point for members of the ICES family, both old and new, to see how far we have come in our journey. The ASC showcases and shares our science with the global marine science community. One of the important and unique features of ICES is its capability to cover the entire spectrum from monitoring to data provision to science and advice. The ASC reflects this range in the 20 theme sessions that will take place at the conference.

Integrated ecosystem assessments in the regional seas provide a fundamental link between ecosystem science and the advice required in applying the ecosystem approach. A number of theme sessions will address this area including: Seafloor habitat mapping; from observation to management; Basin-scale dynamics at lower trophic levels in the North Atlantic; Ecosystem monitoring in practice; and Beyond ocean connectivity: embracing advances on early life stages and adult connectivity to assessment and management challenges.

Another aspect of integration is bringing together the knowledge of fishers and the analytical knowledge of scientists through dedicated science-industry partnerships. This subject will be addressed by a theme session on the value of cooperative research in fisheries and marine management.

Genetics is a powerful tool that we can use to progress ecosystem understanding. This will be explored in the theme session From genes to ecosystems: spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of the Baltic Sea. Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has become an increasingly important driver of marine science in Europe and
the future challenges will be explored in How to hit an uncertain, moving target: achieving GES under the MSFD.

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is central for the implementation of an integrated management of multiple human activities at sea, their combined impacts on marine ecosystems, and the services they provide. A key human activity in the ocean will be brought under the spotlight in Marine spatial planning and fisheries: A stock-take on approaches, examples, and future needs.  Aquaculture has become a priority area for ICES and one theme session will look at how sustainable approaches to aquaculture are being developed in the context of environmental change. 

Hypoxia is increasing worldwide due to the interaction of increased anthropogenic nutrient  loadings with warming waters. The theme session Causes and consequences of hypoxia has gathered world-renowned scientists to discuss causes and consequences of low-oxygen events, focusing on several key regions in the ICES realm.

ICES is a community. We rely on the coordinated contributions from our international network of more than 4000 scientists. As we all work together on the implementation of our Strategic Plan, your participation at the conference is very important for ICES. The ICES family does not exist in isolation and we have forged strong partnerships with many
organizations. We welcome their members to join us for this weeklong event.

Copenhagen has played host to ICES Secretariat since its creation in 1902. We look forward to welcoming you all to this wonderful city in September 2015. We are sure you will have an ​​enjoyable and productive week.

Paul Connolly, ICES President
Yvonne Walther, SCICOM Chair
Eskild Kirkegaard, ACOM Chair
Neil Holdsworth, Head of Data and Information
Anne Christine Brusendorff, ICES General Secretary​

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International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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