The appointment of the chairs was announced at the annual meeting of the ICES Council in Copenhagen last week.
Jennings, who is currently a scientist and advisor at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in the UK, will commence his three-year term as the Science Committee (SCICOM) Chair at the beginning of 2017.
"It's exciting to be moving into this new role, especially at a time when there are so many innovations in marine science as well as unparalleled opportunities to collect, access and process data and to use it to support rigorous and relevant science and advice. I look forward to working together with the ICES network to ensure a strong and influential future for ICES science," Jennings commented.
"It is reassuring to see many familiar faces still active in ICES, and it will be great to catch up with them, but I'm also excited to meet people who have engaged with ICES more recently and to learn about their work," he added.
Eskild Kirkegaard has been the Chair of the Advisory Committee (ACOM) since 2014, and will now continue in his role for a three-year term.
"ICES is recognized as the main provider of scientific advice on human activities affecting the marine ecosystems in the North Eastern Atlantic and Baltic Sea. To maintain this position we must continue to meet the needs of our clients while at the same time further develop our advisory services to meet new challenges and needs. It is a privilege to be allowed to continue as member of the team that steers this development," Kirkegaard commented.
At its meeting the Council also considered progress made on achieving the goals set out in its strategic plan 2014-2018, and identified where further progress is needed. Priorities for the next two years include developing integrated science and advice for the implementation of the ecosystem approach, based on data and knowledge products; considering how to foster greater collaboration with existing and new partners on Arctic science issues; a focus on training and developing the competences within the ICES network; and working to develop a long-term strategy on aquaculture with input from the ICES community.
The Council also recognized the importance of data availability, and the production of data products for use in fish stock assessment and broader biodiversity issues. Council supported investments to further develop existing infrastructures for fisheries dependent and independent data.
"We've come a long way towards achieving the goals of our strategic plan, and during our discussions at the meeting we have identified the important areas where we need to further focus our efforts," said ICES President Cornelius Hammer.
The Council also elected Piotr Margonski from Poland as the new Vice-President for the Bureau, and extended the contract of the General Secretary, Anne Christine Brusendorff.
"With two full-time chairs in house, ICES has every possibility of reinforcing its strengths as a marine science organization, linking data, science, and advice. This strengthened leadership structure will help us further progress towards our goal of producing integrated science and advice," Brusendorff concluded.
The Council consists of 40 national delegates, two from each of the 20 member countries. The Bureau is the Executive Board of the Council, led by the President.
Simon Jennings (left) and Eskild Kirkegaard.