The first course currently scheduled is 'Statistically sound inference for commercial catch sampling programmes', which will run 18–22 June at the ICES Secretariat in Copenhagen. It will centre on the estimation of the commercial catch data that is essential for many stock assessment methods, including ICES ones. The aim of the programme is to provide students with the level of expertise required to improve data collection and provision in a way that meets ICES demands.
After reviewing common sampling strategies and estimators used to characterize catches, there will be an extensive focus on more complex sampling designs (for example stratified multi-stage cluster designs with equal and unequal probability) and methods for comparing designs in order to optimize the sampling effort.
'Advanced stock assessment' will return from 5–9 November and is aimed at training stock assessment scientists and advisors in population dynamics and advanced assessment. Various assumptions will be examined, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different methods. The course is organized into a series of sessions with alternating focus on theoretical concepts and hands-on work on examples. These example sessions will be completed in different software environments such as R and AD Model Builder.
The new 'Genomics in support of fisheries and aquaculture management', will be held 26–28 June at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. This course will introduce participants to relevant evolutionary, quantitative ecology and population theory, the tools that can underpin management of aquatic natural resources, and how such approaches complement other management approaches, together with a critical valuation of costs and benefits. It will also illustrate how genomics can help to address existing management and policy needs.
Participants will attain an understanding of genomic concepts and methods with emphasis on population genomic aspects, be instructed in state-of-the-art statistical and analytical software, and by the end will be able to handle illustrative genomic datasets and perform simple to more complex population genomic analyses.
This course is designed to target a broad community, encompassing those with all levels of experience in genomics. Students, scientists, managers, and stakeholders involved in fisheries and aquaculture management and policy-decision making are all welcome.
Another new addition in 2018 is 'Introduction to agent-based modelling for fisheries science and management', scheduled for November 12–16 at ICES. This course will introduce the basic principles of agent-based modelling, from coding and settings to the outcomes, while exploring the pros and cons.
The course is the starting point for beginning to learn how to use this technique for socio-ecological applications, such as fisheries science and management.