ICES presented its advisory programme to the Third Meeting of Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean which took place in Seattle, 14 – 16 April. Although commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean is not yet imminent, there is a need for further scientific research and monitoring on the state and nature of living marine resources and associated ecosystems, and increased understanding of the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystems in general and fish stocks in particular.
To identify and report on the status of arctic research and monitoring information, and to propose an international framework for addressing gaps, the Arctic coastal states (Norway, Russia, United States, Canada, Greenland) were joined by representatives of some of the principal nations conducting Arctic research (China, Japan, Korea, Iceland) and international Arctic research organizations, including ICES.
One of the main points of the meeting was to consider how to promote cooperation with ICES and our sister organization, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), as well as other relevant scientific entities and academic programs.
The large basins of the Central Arctic Ocean have been identified as a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), and now there is a need to consider whether an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) should be carried out for here to address the possible impacts of climate variability and change, contaminants and pollution, shipping, and fisheries.
At the end of May, ICES and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) will work together through a Workshop on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Central Arctic Ocean (WKICA) as a step towards implementing the ecosystem approach here.
Photo of participants at the Third Meeting of Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean read