What we do


We are committed to providing sound and leading science to underpin the best advice and solutions for the sustainable use of our oceans.

Coordination, leadership and facilitation of science are central to realizing the ICES vision: to be a world leading scientific organization concerning marine ecosystems and to provide the knowledge needed to secure sustainable use of the seas. This allows us to provide knowledge, education, and the scientific underpinning to advise on the sustainable management of human activities affecting, and affected by, marine ecosystems.

Our science is conducted by around 1500 scientists who meet in more than 150 Expert Groups. These scientists come from over 350 institutions in our 20 member countries and beyond.

We address topics spanning all aspects of marine science including ecosystem processes and dynamics, ecosystem observation and assessment and human pressures and impacts.

From within this broad range of topics, we are currently putting extra emphasis on Arctic research, transatlantic cooperation, climate change, aquaculture and fisheries and interactions between society and the sea. We are also applying our scientific innovation and knowledge to develop ecosystem and fisheries overviews and integrated ecosystem assessments for the ICES area and beyond. With our European member countries we are developing science and advisory processes to support the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

The Science Committee (SCICOM) oversees work on all aspects of marine science in ICES, while the Advisory Committee (ACOM) develops and applies science to provide essential management advice. Our scientific and advisory work is effectively supported by our Data Centre and other staff from the ICES Secretariat.

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​Copyright: Institute of Marine Research, Norway.

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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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