ICES carries out this mandate through a large number of science and advisory activities that coordinate the research communities of our twenty member countries. The ICES Annual Science Conference is undoubtedly our flagship science activity. It provides an opportunity for new science (inside and outside ICES) to be presented and discussed, a forum to develop future science activities, and a stock-taking opportunity for ICES structures and their clients to assess and evolve our common business. Above all, for those of us that love science, the ASC gives us a chance to be enthused and invigorated by science matters. One of the major objectives of the ASC is to bring into the ICES family new cohorts of scientists, and the conference provides an opportunity for early career scientists (many of whom receive travel assistance from ICES) to get involved in what is the largest network of regional marine scientists. We value their participation so much that we offer substantial financial rewards to their best oral and poster presentations, to attend future ICES training courses, science symposia, or expert group meetings.
The 2013 ASC has an exciting programme of sessions, which I would like to introduce. We have sessions on five major topic areas: (a) Implementation of the ecosystem approach – with sessions on observation and monitoring needs and integrated surveys with novel sensors; (b) Climate and climate change sessions, such as projecting distribution and abundance changes in marine resources, estimating climate and ecosystem change, assessing ocean acidification in the ICES area, or evaluating changes in circulation and water mass formation; (c) Fisheries management – including sessions on fishery sampling schemes, Bayesian approaches, harvest strategies, recreational fisheries, and modelling human behaviour; (d) Multiple impacts – with sessions on marine spatial planning, coastal habitat valuation, and marine litter; and finally (e) Ecological aspects – including sessions on foodweb dynamics and on North Atlantic pelagic fish assemblages. Whatever your scientific interests are, we are sure to keep you engaged!
The ASC also hosts a significant number of business meetings of the scientific, advisory, and governance structures of the ICES network, which are used to identify priority areas, focus the efforts of the network, and gather community feedback. We also provide a venue for official and unofficial meetings with ICES partners and collaborators, and this combination of events has made the ICES ASC a must for scientists, policy-makers, science managers, and communicators wishing to learn, and influence, marine science in our region.
We are also proud to have three outstanding keynote speakers: Professor Ragnar Arnason, from the Department of Economics at the University of Iceland, Professor Emeritus Doug Butterworth, from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, and Dr Richard (Dick) Feely, from Texas A&M University. They will set the scene for what should be a fantastic event.
I hope that you will find the programme exciting, and that you will draw inspiration from what the conference has to offer in the delightful and charming city of Reykjavik. See you there,
Chair, ICES Science Committee