ICES Annual Science Conference 2022

Theme session A

Oceanography and ecosystems in the North Atlantic: science and operational services

Tuesday 20 September
President's suite

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This theme session brings together oceanographers and marine ecosystem scientists to advance our knowledge on physical-biological linkages in a changing ocean.​​​​

Session format

We will use a “Connecting the Dots” approach to generate some lively discussion. At the start of the session, we will provide an overview of the key messages presented earlier in the day in flash presentations. Pressing community questions will then drive further discussion with a focus on sharing knowledge, sourcing appropriate oceanographic products to use and data integration. Input from Monday's network session Advancing the pathways for oceanography to ecosystem science and advice​ will be sought to enrich the conversation and connect the dots.

Session topic

​​Ecosystem dynamics depend strongly on background oceanographic processes, but, despite continued advances in our understanding of such relationships, incorporating this knowledge into management remains difficult. Current oceanographic products are achieving a level of maturity that should allow their use for science-based decision-making. 

The overall circulation of the North Atlantic is highly conditioned by several distinct water mass sources and their subsequent spreading patterns, as well as the interchanges among the large-scale subpolar and subtropical gyres and connection with the Arctic Seas. The whole region hosts rich and diverse marine ecosystems which sustain fisheries and other services. 

The region has shown overall warming in the past decades, triggering notable responses in ecosystems at all trophic levels. More recently the upper ocean entered a process of accelerated freshening, indicating the development of a new large salinity anomaly. Multinational efforts have allowed detailed tracking of changes while gaining insight on the oceanographic processes involved and effects on ecosystems. Understanding ecosystem responses to these evolving environmental conditions and improving the predictive capability are goals of the marine science community and ICES in particular. 

Session contributions

Conveners are looking for oceanography-oriented contributions as well as studies of physical-biological relationships or integrated ecosystem assessments. While the session is focused on the North Atlantic, global ocean or theoretical contributions are also welcomed. 

Some topics where contributions are welcome are:

  • Variability and long-term changes on hydrographical and/or biological properties
  • ​Drivers of short- and long-term changes in biological productivity
  • Forecasting changes in the ocean and their consequences
  • Marine litter distribution and interactions with marine fauna
  • Oceanographic influences on dispersal of fish eggs and larvae and their consequences
  • Harmful algal blooms distribution, detection and forecast
  • Oceanographic influences on spread of invasive species
  • Current and future trends in oceanographic influences on aquaculture
  • Operational remote sensing and numerical modelling applied in fisheries
  • Environmental conditions in relations to fisheries
Session content is strongly linked to the UN Decade of Ocean Science societal goals, in particular “A healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected”.
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Tomasz Dabrowski (Ireland)
Caroline Cusack (Ireland)
Marcos Llope (Spain)

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Theme session A

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