One of the important and unique features of ICES is its capability to cover the entire spectrum of marine science from monitoring to data provision to science and advice. The Annual Science Conference (ASC) reflects this range of work in the many theme sessions that take place at the conference each year. ICES ASC 2015 will be no different, with twenty separate theme sessions to highlight and share our science with the global marine science community.
The Call for papers for ICES ASC 2015 is now open and contains information on all the upcoming theme sessions. Abstracts are being accepted until 30 April 2015.
Below are a few of the theme sessions that will draw scientists, students, and stakeholders to Copenhagen in September.
Sustainable aquaculture has become the latest action area for ICES. The necessary growth in marine aquaculture to meet global demand for marine proteins and products has the potential to put additional pressure on natural resources. Sustainable approaches to aquaculture that holistically consider both social and ecological components of systems are essential for meeting the challenges of improving the way in which marine resources are utilized. Theme session K, Sustainable approaches to aquaculture in the context of environmental change will explore how science on sustainable coastal aquaculture can be translated to meaningful management and policy advice, as well as topics of carrying capacity, ecosystem impacts, and climate change.
The phenomenon of ocean acidification – the rapid increase of atmospheric CO2 being absorbed by oceans and seas, modifying their basic chemistry – is the focus of Theme Session H, Ocean acidification: Understanding chemical, biological and biochemical responses in marine ecosystems. The ocean is the largest natural reservoir of dissolved carbon and holds an immense buffering capacity for changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Research to understand ocean acidification effects is moving rapidly, helping us to increase our current understanding on how these effects may affect or modify species and ecosystems with subsequent impact upon society. Theme Session H, sponsored by ICES and PICES, will provide evidence-based science to advance the current undertanding of ocean acidification effects and monitoring in marine ecosystems.
Hypoxia has become a major problem affecting marine, estuarine, and inland water bodies worldwide, with the largest areas extending hundreds to thousands of kilometres across and hundreds of meters deep. The problem arises from excessive organic and nutrient loading, exacerbated by global warming. Theme session R Causes and Consequences of Hypoxia will explore the effects and implications of hypoxia ("dead zones") for coastal and marine ecosystems. The conveners have invited a group of leaders from the field of hypoxia research. These include Denise Breitburg, Smithsonian Research Institution (USA); Nancy Rabalais and Kenneth Rose, Louisiana State University (USA); Denis Chabot, DFO (Canada); Jacob Carstensen, University of Aarhus (Denmark); Christoph Humborg and Oleg Savchuk, Baltic Sea Centre, Stockholm University (Sweden); and Guy Claireaux, University of Brest (France). Not only are they leaders in research, but they are also activists in the sense of policy engagement. Their presentations and contributed papers will make this an exciting, informative session.
Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has become an increasingly important driver of marine science in Europe and the future challenges, such as the development of management measures and systems to oversee the implementation of measures and monitor their success will be explored in Theme session P How to hit an uncertain, moving target: achieving GES under the MFSD. These efforts dovetail with the adoption of integrated ecosystem assessment and management by ICES and its increasing involvement in developing biodiversity science and advice.
A sound understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of human pressures and their combined impacts on marine ecosystems is key for the development of ecosystem based Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which aims to balance sustainable use with healthy ecosystems. MSP is seen as a vehicle which can support the implementation of the MSFD. As fisheries are one of the main human pressures on marine ecosystems and one of the main pressures addressed by the MSFD, the scoping and assessment of the integration of fisheries in national and regional MSP initiatives is timely and highly relevant. Theme session O Marine spatial planning and fisheries: A stock-take on approaches, examples, and future needs addresses two goals of the ICES Strategic Plan which are to gain an understanding of the relationship between human activities and their impacts and to advice on the sustainable use and protection of marine ecosystems.
Details of all twenty theme sessions, as well as information on how to submit your abstract, are now available in the recently published Call for Papers.