Over many years, various institutes and nations have studied many aspects of this ecosystem. Despite this, an overview of the Greenland Sea (East Greenland) ecosystem is lacking. The new group's main objective is therefore to collect all available historical and current information, analyze trends and causalities, and provide an ecosystem overview for the area.
The area of the Greenland Sea is a transition area between boreal systems and the Arctic. Given the increased focus on the Arctic with respect to the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems and the available information from various sources, co-chair of the new group Jesper Boje states that, “it is time to act".
The newly established Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of the Greenland Sea (WGIEAGS) is currently populated by scientists from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Danish National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua). These members bring their expertise in lower trophic levels and fisheries. However, there are many more experts that chairs Jesper Boje and Colin Stedmon would like to join them.
“Experts in hydrography, oceanography, and marine mammals are explicitly needed", say the chairs, “while experts on other segments of the ecosystem will be beneficial to have on board, especially those from nations other than Greenland and Denmark."
“We also welcome members from other established ICES IEA groups in ecoregions adjacent to the Greenland Sea".
“Ecosystem overviews provide users (managers, policy-makers, institutes, scientists, the public) with access to an overview of the ecosystem and related information. The group will serve as a forum for information exchange and discussion of the information provided", adds Boje, “including new initiatives set up for the area. Benefit is thus mutual."
The group has a three-year plan that will initially assemble all relevant data that can be used to describe spatiotemporal changes in the Greenland Sea creating a merged database containing physical, chemical and biological (including higher trophic levels) oceanographic data, as well as discussing methodological approaches and analytical tools for conducting an integrated ecosystem assessment. This will lead to a first analysis on the ecosystem status and trends in the second year. The third year will see the database finalised and a manuscript on the status and trends of the Greenland Sea ecosystem. The group will identify knowledge gaps and priority research items that can improve future integrated ecosystem assessments and provide recommendations to improve the monitoring.
WGIEAGS will meet for the first time 11-13 February 2020 at ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen, Denmark. If you are interested in becoming a member of the group, get in contact!
The latest ICES integrated ecosytem assessment group will develop an ecosystem overview for the Greenland Sea ecoregion.