The president and the crown prince met with a delegation from ICES, including President Cornelius Hammer, 1st Vice-President Fritz Köster, and General Secretary Anne Christine Brusendorff, the latter of whom gave a presentation about the work of the organization.
"Iceland is an important contributor to ICES with over 100 experts participating annually in a wide range of activities, from providing advice on fishing opportunities to evaluating the impacts of aquaculture on wild salmon habitats and deciding which common indicators to use to assess the status of marine mammals", Brusendorff stated.
"Their time amounts to more than 400 days, many of which are spent in this building", she continued.
Effects of climate change
Brusendorff highlighted some of ICES work that is of particular significance to Iceland, such as the importance of understanding changes in fish distribution due to environmental and hydrographic conditions.
"ICES will make use of predicted species distributions to analyze and validate methods for assessing the vulnerability of fish stocks to climate change. We will be working with our sister organization in the north Pacific, PICES, and will gain important information on which species and fisheries are most likely to be impacted."
Brusendorff also informed the guests about the upcoming ecosystem overview for the Icelandic waters.
"The overview will list the main human activities in Icelandic waters, the pressures they exert, and how these affect the status of these waters. And as we understand Iceland plans to also use the ecosystem overviews for fisheries certification purposes", she explained.
Transatlantic and Arctic cooperation
Transatlantic cooperation and ICES work in the Arctic were also highlighted as issues of particular significance to Iceland.
"Based on our organization's long-standing transatlantic cooperation, we have a key role in furthering the joint scientific cooperation and programming across the Atlantic as well as the Arctic and ensuring science of relevance for society", Brusendorff concluded.
This final sentiment was echoed by the president, who also noted the importance of collaboration and science.
"The ocean is a common treasure and key to a sustainable future. The work of ICES is a testimony to the fact that science matters, and despite differences of opinions it is best to stick to the power and wisdom of science", he said.
Iceland has been a member of ICES since 1938, and its current delegates are Olafur S. Astthorsson and Sigurdur Gudjonsson.
HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and president of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson met with General Secretary Anne Christine Brusendorff at the ICES Secretariat in Copenhagen.