Welcome to Riga, host of ICES Annual Science Conference 2016.
Riga is known as the "Heart of the Baltics". It is the largest city in the Baltic states, located at the mouth of the Daugava on the shores of the Gulf of Riga. Officially founded in 1201 by Bishop Albert, Riga became one of the most developed seaports in the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages and has traditionally served as a crossroads for trade between east and west. When an independent Latvian Republic formed in 1918, Riga became the capital.
Today, you can see the entire history of the city reflected in its architecture. Walk through cobblestone streets and explore the medieval charm of the Old Town; admire the beautiful art nouveau buildings and the wooden architecture. It is a place to enjoy a wide variety of culture, ranging from world class opera and classical music, to theatre performances and art exhibitions. Due to a rich historical and cultural heritage, the city was chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2014 which was a success story for both Riga and Latvia.
Latvia's ICES delegates, Georgs Kornilovs and Normunds Riekstins, welcome all ASC participants to Latvia and Riga.
Latvia joined ICES in 1937, renewed its membership in 1993, and will now host the Annual Science Conference for the first time. We expect that it will be a notable scientific event for ICES members as well as the wider public.
Embraced by 490 km of beautiful sandy beaches, Latvia, its history, and the lifestyle of its people have been inseparable from the sea. The sea and its values manifests itself in many 200 000 Latvian folk songs recorded by our ethnographers.
For Latvian fisheries biologists, ICES has always been a significant platform for promoting good cooperation with international scienctists, ensuring coordination of research surveys, contributing to data collection and the development of regional databases, and not least, offering good opportunities for training new scientists. Managers and stakeholders in Latvia also appreciate ICES advice for the sustainable use of marine resources.
Eighteen theme sessions consisting of presentations and panel discussions will offer a great variety of topics at this year's conference, so everyone should find something interesting. Several sessions (B, E, F, Q, R) are devoted to different aspects of ecosystem-based fisheries management and aim to bring together scientists, managers, and other stakeholders. Different trophic levels from phytoplankton to fishes, their interrelationships and dependence from physical environment will be covered in theme sessions D, M, N. The development in the prediction of the latter will be considered in Session I. Many will be also interested in the process of Marine spatial planning in Session L, progress in sclerochronology in Session H and in quality assurance in data collection in Session O.
The conference venue, the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, is in the very heart of Riga, 5 minutes walk from the Old City. You can find many hotels, shopping centres, coffee bars, and restaurants within walking distance. We hope that the ASC will be not only a remarkable scientific event but our excursions will allow you to become acquainted with Riga and Latvia. Even if you don't have time for excursions, many remarkable places are situated in the nearest neighborhood to the conference centre: Old Riga, with its eight centuries of history, the district of Art Nouveau buildings considered the capital of this style of architecture in Europe, and Riga Central Market - the biggest outdoor and indoor market complex among European capitals.
We look forward to seeing you in Riga.
Georgs Kornilovs and Normunds Riekstins Latvia's delegates to ICES
Riga harbour at night; Photo - Ģirts Raģelis.
Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija Elizabetes 55, Riga, Latvia
Radisson Blu Hotel Latvia is situated in the city centre. Although there are many shops, hotels, cafes, and restaurants within walking distance, if you need to go further into the city you'll be close to several bus, tram, and trolleybus routes.
ExcursionsConference participants can join organized excursions to explore Riga and its surroundings.