With the Arctic Biodiversity Congress taking place in Trondheim, Norway this week, ICES took the opportunity to host a session on Ecosystems and fisheries: understanding cumulative effects and managing change.
Fish, fisheries, fisheries management, and the ecosystem approach were all on the table as Bjarte Bogstad (Chair of ICES Arctic Fisheries Working Group) and Edda Johannesen (Co-Chairof ICES Working Group on Integrated Assessment of the Barents Sea) introduced the topic to the audience, along with a short presentation on ICES.
An investigation of fish fauna in an area in the Canadian Arctic where few investigations have previously been carried out was presented by Shannon MacPhee, DFO Canada.
Accompanied by some beautiful photos, Qaiyaan Harcharek, a subsistence fisher, presented the challenges of traditional subsistence fishing in Northern Alaska.
Nengye Liu, University of Dundee, Scotland looked at the issue of fisheries governance in the international waters of the Arctic and the role of the European Union.
The Protection of Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Ecosystem Approach was presented by Phil Mundy, NOAA.
Finally, Elling Lorentsen from the Norwegian Fishermens' Organisation addressed the effects that climate change will have for fisheries and local communities in Norway.
Arctic research is a priority for ICES. Complex ecological changes expected to take place in the coming decades include increases in productivity, losses and gains of individual species, and changes in food web structure.
A number of ICES groups focus on subarctic fish stocks and ICES also conducts and develops Integrated Ecosystem Assessments for the Barents Sea as part of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management.
Several other subjects are adressed by our community - ranging from hydrography and warming of the Arctic Ocean to evaluating the environmental risks of shipping, oil and gas exploitation, and the spread of non-native species.