For an island fisheries nation it is a great event and a most pleasant one to host the ASC. Fisheries have always been of importance to the livelihood of the Icelandic nation. Marine products constitute approximately 41% of the total value of exported goods, totalling approximately 1,5 billion €. Currently fisheries rate second in export in the Icelandic economy, next to the export of industrial products (mainly aluminium).
In connection with hosting the ASC 2013, the Icelandic hosts look forward to seeing themes such as management of fish stocks and harvest strategies, the pelagic fish complex in the North Atlantic Ocean and their productivity, spatial distribution and species competition during changing climate being studied at the ASC. These topics are related and of particular interest as we increasingly face challenges of successful management of fully exploited fish stocks and at times with increasing stress on the fish stocks and the marine environment of both natural and anthropogenic origin.
One of the main challenges for ICES in the future is to promote and secure sustainable use of marine resources, while at the same time maintaining healthy ecosystems. Here the focus on the changing and vulnerable Arctic areas is a point in case. The impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, and of marine related activities on the marine environment in the Arctic challenge us to find the balance between sustainable use of marine resources and their conservation. The oceans are critical for global food security, with aquaculture playing an increasing role. ICES is a major player in promoting the sustainable use of natural resources by advancing the scientific capacity to give advice on human activities affecting, and affected by, marine ecosystems.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the country´s main maritime city. The Marine Research Institute (MRI) and the Ministry of Industry and Innovation have their recently renovated headquarters just opposite to the conference venue, the recently opened Harpa (harp) Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre. It is located at the harbour mouth of the city and within walking distance of most down-town hotels, as well as major attractions such as the Parliament (Althingi), National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik Art Museum, National Museum of Iceland, Nordic house, University of Iceland, and the main shopping and entertainment area.
The social programme will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with Reykjavik and the nearby region but we also hope that you will manage to visit some of our beautiful and unique countryside.
We look forward to seeing you in Reykjavik, 23 to 27 September 2013.