Главная ICES as a provider of independent scientific advice on marine living resources and the environment
ICES as a provider of independent scientific advice on marine living resources and the environment Печать E-mail

G. Hubold
General Secretary, International Council
for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES),
H.С Andersens Boulevard 44-46,
DK-1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) was founded in 1902 by the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the UK with the explicit goal "...to obtain practical results" in marine cooperation and research. Later, all North Atlantic coastal states, including USA and Canada joined ICES, bringing its membership up to 20 countries by the end of 2006.

The ICES Convention from 1902 was renewed in 1964, and endorsed in 2002 with the "Copenhagen Declaration", signed by all Member States at the event of the 100th anniversary of the Convention.

The ICES Convention provides a strong commitment by all ICES Governments to actively contribute to the Council" s tasks and to supply the necessary data and scientists to conduct the work. Article 5 of the Convention states: "The Contracting Parties undertake to furnish to the Council information which will contribute to the purposes of this Convention and can reasonably be made available and, wherever possible, to assist in carrying out the programmes of research coordinated by the Council.

Based on this commitment of data and scientists, the annual work programme is approved at the annual Statutory Meeting of the ICES Council. Two high representatives (Delegates) of each member state contribute to the decisions and take the responsibility that their national institutes will carry out the work which was defined by Council.

To carry out the cooperative work, ICES is organized into a "science area", an "advisory area", and a professional secretariat which serves the Council and the ICES Scientific Network. The Secretariat provides meeting facilities for the experts, supports Expert Groups with document handling and editing, organizes an annual science conference and scientific symposia, organizes the formulation of advice, and provides data handling for the Member States.

The ICES scientific network consists of approximately 1600 marine scientists in 200 Institutions in Member States and Affiliate Countries organized in > 100 Expert Groups, 8 Science Committees, and three Advisory Committees.

The ICES Science Programme is committed to

- understand the physical, chemical, and biological functioning of marine ecosystems

- understand and quantify human impacts on marine ecosystems, including living marine resources

- evaluate options for sustainable marine- related industries, particularly fishing and mariculture

The science program is the fundament on which the ICES Advice is built.

The ICES Advisory Programme is shaped to advise on the sustainable use of living marine resources and protection of the marine environment. Based on national data and scientific expertise from all ICES countries, and scrutinized by internal and external peer review and stakeholder involvement, the ICES Advice guarantees the highest possible level of excellence, independence and objectivity.

ICES work and ICES success depends on the commitment of its member states. As an intergovernmental body, the ICES network relies almost exclusively on the availability of member states" data and scientists. In recent years, the available expertise in some of the ICES disciplines in member states has decreased, while the demand for reliable scientific advice on marine living resources and the marine environment has dramatically increased. As a result, ICES today is confronted with a scarcity of specialized scientists and has difficulties to run some of the ambitious science and advisory programmes for the member states and client commissions.

In order to make best use of this well established and experienced international cooperation structure, every effort should be made to maintain the scientific resource basis ICES needs to match its obligations as the most prominent organization in marine research linking the scientific capacities of the countries of the European Union with those of the great maritime nations around the North Atlantic.



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