well as lending its expertise to a traditionally busy spring and early summer
advice period, ICES also endorses events on its wider radar in which the
organization has some interest or affiliation, and the 7th International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference in Chile is one of
those whose mission to advance both fishery observation programmes and the
requisite technology reflect key ICES working areas.
The ICES-supported conference, being held from 8 to 12 April in the city of Viña del Mar on the country's Pacific coast, is focusing on ways to improve fishery monitoring programmes worldwide through the sharing of practices and the development of new data collection methods and analysis, providing at the same time a forum for dialogue between those responsible for monitoring fisheries and those who rely upon the data fisheries collect.
On the agenda at the event is the improvement of fishery monitoring data quality as well as the global promotion and exchange of the best fishery observation programmes and data collection practices, information analysis, and ideas pertaining to both processes. Other discussions will tackle supporting the development of new innovative data collection methods, further developing both the training and safety of at-sea fisheries observers as well as the observer profession itself, and a progression in the use of fishery monitoring data to support sustainable resource management.
The conference has attracted over one hundred and fifty delegates, including ICES scientists, from thirty-seven countries and engendered lively discussions have centred on theme sessions covering a diverse spread of topics. Such themes sessions range from balancing cost effectiveness of data quality and use of industry data for monitoring rights-based fisheries to seafood traceability and fisheries law enforcement roles in domestic and international waters. One theme session is also dedicated to assessing how fisheries observation programmes can back ecosystem-based approaches to management, a fundamental part of ICES current strategy.
"This conference highlights the important changes in monitoring of fisheries that have consequences for our science, fisheries management, and cooperation between fisheries and researchers," said ICES Ecosystem Professional Officer Mark Dickey-Collas
IFOMC is chaired and hosted by Oscar Guzman of El Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, IFOP (Fisheries Development Institute), and the conference organizers anticipate publishing the proceedings in late spring 2014.
Viña del Mar, Chile