Who we are

Our history

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) was established in 1902 by exchange of letters between participating countries. In 1964, through an agreed Convention, ICES received a legal foundation and full international status.

​​​​​​​​​​​Key ev​ents 


The Inaugural Meeting 22 July 1902 in Copenhagen

Participants: Denmark, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Russia and United Kingdom

ICES Convention 1964

Copenhagen Declaration 2002


ICES member countries


The list indicates when member countries first joined ICES. 

1902: Denmark; Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Russia, United Kingdom

1903: Belgium

1912: United States

1920: France, Portugal

1922: Poland

1923: Latvia

1924: Estonia, Spain

1925: Ireland

1938: Iceland

1967: Canada

2006: Lithuania

Italy was a member for four years from 1927 and again 1956-1974.

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Our history

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
ICES Secretariat · H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, DK 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark · Tel: +45 3338 6700 · Fax: +45 3393 4215 · info@ices.dk
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