ICES Annual Science Conference 2023

Keynote speaker: Ángel Borja

Challenges in using the ocean sustainably: obtaining benefits for humans while maintaining ecosystem services

Monday 11 September
11:00 - 12:00

​​​​Human activities at sea have increased, causing degradation of ocean status and affecting the supply of ecosystem services and societal benefits. The cumulative effects of these activities and their pressures can be enhanced by climate change. Hence, management of multiple activities is necessary to ensure a sustainable use of the ocean. This has been done under conceptual frameworks tackling these complex issues under an ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach. The EBM is considered as the best practice for managing multiple activities, pressures and ecosystem components. However, EBM implementation is perceived as challenging and theoretical. Recently, substantial progress in EBM implementation on a global scale has been reported. Despite this, some impediments to further implementation of EBM have been identified.

I will present the challenges remaining, as well as the solutions proposed for the future to tackle the gaps, trying to maximize the benefits of ecosystem services that a healthy ocean can supply to human well-being and human health.


Angel Borja is PhD in Marine Ecology (1984, Basque Country University, Spain), Doctor in Sciences (Honoris Causa) (2015, Hull University, UK), Principal Investigator at AZTI (Spain, 1985) and Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University (2020, Saudi Arabia). His main focus is making marine ecology research useful for policy-makers and managers. He studies the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems, the recovery of marine systems after impact, protection and conservation of the ocean, effects of climate change on coasts and marine waters, monitoring and assessment of marine status, under European directives (i.e. Water Framework Directive; Marine Strategy Framework Directive), as well as integrative methods under the ecosystem-approach. The assessment methods he has developed together with his team are used worldwide, contributing to conserve and protect the ocean (e.g. AMBI, M-AMBI, AFI, NEAT, etc.). 

He's authored >300 papers (Hindex: 76, SCOPUS; 94, Google Scholar) and is a Highly Cited Researcher 2018-2022 (Web of Science). He is the Chief Editor of Frontiers in Ocean Sustainability, and Associate Editor of Continental Shelf Research.

He has chaired/organized >50 international conferences/sessions and been a keynote speaker in >100 international conferences. He has participated in more than 120 European and international projects, leading some of them (currently GES4SEAS). He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (2013-2020) and is or has been invovled with several international organizations and EU projects related to the ocean. ​​

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Keynote speaker: Ángel Borja

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