Both the impacts of climate change on the marine world and the effects of invasive species will be featured on a programme of 18 theme sessions at the 2017 Annual Science Conference (ASC), as ICES and PICES continue their cooperation on key subjects affecting the global marine environment.
Theme Session A, 'Projected impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, wild captured and cultured fisheries, and fishery dependent communities' will explore the effects of climate change on marine fish and shellfish, their foodwebs, and the human communities that depend on these resources. Talks will cover climate impacts at individual level – such as how warming or ocean acidification might affect the metabolism or growth of a species – projected shifts in distributions of fish, and threats to fisheries and aquaculture. Discussion will also stretch beyond physical and biological changes to socio-economic and policy impacts.
Linked to this session is an Open Session: 'Physical, economic and societal impacts of climate change: testing common scenarios of future impact', which will take place on the Tuesday. This forum has been organized by the ICES-PICES Strategic Initiative on Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems (SICCME), in which researchers from various Pacific and Atlantic ocean regions in the northern hemisphere have joined forces. Part of this open session will involve investigating the application of future scenarios – including representative fishing pathways (RFPS), which define what types of management decisions might be taken in the future so that costs and trade-offs of the decisions can be estimated.
"Integrating RFPs into climate projection modelling is a natural extension of the Ecosystem-based Approach to Fisheries Management because they recognize the importance of the interaction between fisheries and climate change on living marine resources. The ICES-PICES SICCME provides a forum to discuss, debate, and define these RFPs," explained Myron Peck, co-convener of Session A and SICCME co-chair.
Theme Session B, 'Bioinvasion trajectories and impacts in contrasting marine environments', will focus on key fundamental science and management aspects of marine bioinvasions. It will achieve this through looking at evidence on patterns and dynamics of non-native species introductions and the ways they are introduced, new information on consequences of their introduction, new methods for species detection and risk assessment, and prevention and control measures. Knowledge gaps that can become research, monitoring, or risk assessment topics for ICES and PICES as well as for the session's third sponsoring partner, the Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM), will be identified. Output will also help inform domestic activities within Europe and North America.
Co-convener Henn Ojaveer explained the need of working across organizations and areas.
"The phenomenon is truly global, with maritime transport as the main introduction pathway. This requires harmonization of research methods and information exchange to inform management decisions. Therefore, joint efforts between these three major organizations are necessary for coping with the current pattern of intensification of introduction pressure/risk due to human activities."
"Similarities and even the differences between trajectories and impacts across these broad studies can also provide vital management information, particularly when developing global initiatives," added co-chair Cynthia McKenzie.