ICES Annual Report 2021

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ICES ANNUAL REPORT 2021 August 2022 ISBN: 978-87-7482-972-0 ISSN: 2707-8981 DOI: Published10.17895/ Council for the Exploration of the Sea H.C. Andersens Boulevard 44–46 1553 Copenhagen V +45Denmark3338 www.ices.dk6700 TRANSLATION: Rising Clouds Translation Services GRAPHIC DESIGN: Pia Grøndbech Unless otherwise stated, the copyright for the content of ICES Annual Report is vested in the publisher. Material herein may not be reproduced without written permission from the copyright owners. © 2022 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Front page image: Shutterstock.

CONTENT Welcome ICES at a glance A changing Arctic Impacts of climate change Spotlight on plankton OECMS - A golden opportunity for a win-win collaboration Providing evidence-based advice Diversity, equity, and inclusion Annual Science Conference goes online ICES training courses ICES in numbersBudget 282418141284616222630

Anne Christine Brusendorff, ICES General Secretary 2012–2021

Iwould like to begin by thanking our community for the past year. Our work is driven by the support and needs of our Member Countries and those that are dependent on our scientific advice, which itself hinges on the work of a huge scientific community, dedicated to exploring and sustaining our oceans and seas.

For our community and organization, 2021 began as 2020 ended. The uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic loomed large. However, our community’s resilience and adaptation to the virtual working environment meant that the diversity and breadth of our work did not falter. This work ranged from scientific advice for fisheries and management plans to maritime and fishing issues, from biodiversity to our ecosystem and fisheries overviews that cover new ecoregions, as well as a new addition to our overviews

ICES is an important and unique scientific organization, and in my final year as President, I am as proud as ever to be a member of this team, which includes a dedicated Secretariat and collaboration with our Member Countries on both sides of the Atlantic, partner scientific organizations, and our clients.

The last ten years at ICES have been an exciting journey. I have had the luck to work together with many good colleagues in the Secretariat and in the network, and I will take that with me in my next adventures. I wish you all the best, and am sure that our paths will cross again in the future.


Unfortunately, 2021 is not only the end of my term but also that of Anne Christine Brusendorff, ICES General Secretary for the past decade. Brusendorff joined the Secretariat in February 2012. Her vision to promote Fritz W. Köster, ICES 2019–2021President

integrated ecosystem understanding led to the development of integrated ecosystem assessments in each of ICES ecoregions.

Throughout her term, she contributed to the development of further linking ICES activities to relevant processes to ensure the data, science, and advisory outputs are contributing effectively to the knowledge base used for ocean governance, reaching into new areas for ICES, such as aquaculture and the Arctic. As my journey as President ends, I leave you in the capable hands of our new President, William Karp and the newly appointed General Secretary Alan Haynie. I hope that you continue to join ICES events and that our community can meet up again in person in September at our Annual Science Conference in Dublin, Ireland. portfolio – our first aquaculture overview. The pandemic has encouraged us to reflect on how we work and what positive changes we could permanently incorporate. Groups can operate differently, using meetings as a tool, not the sole element of an expert group. Participation does not need to involve travelling to a specific location. Virtual events increase inclusiveness and reduce environmental impact. And what of the environmental impacts? If ICES work processes and support are to progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ICES as a “Responsible Organization", how should we plan to move towards a net zero carbon policy? A Council subgroup on COVID-19 was established to explore these issues and provided key recommendations on how ICES should move forward as an organization.

ICES AT A GLANCE THE ESSENTIALS OF OUR ORGANIZATION The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is a world-leading marine science organization, meeting societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. ICES is a network of 6000 experts from 800 institutes and organizations in 20 Member Countries and beyond. More than 3000 experts participate in our activities annually. Ecosystem overviews Fisheries andNortheastoftonnesrepresentingfishingadviceAnnualAquacultureoverviewsoverviewsrecurrenton200250opportunities,8million–almost90%catchesintheAtlanticBalticSea Advice on the status and use of marine ecosystems, methods of monitoring, indicators of the state of the environment, and the evaluation of management Technicalplans advice Data used in science and advisory products Training Science highlights and viewpoints in areas of societal andConferencesPublicationsimportancesymposia OUR PRODUCTS

AtlanticoustrategicThroughpartnershipsrworkintheNorthOceanextendsintotheArctic,theMediterranean,theBlackSea,andtheNorthPacific. networkICES A broad range ofdisciplinesscientific 700 institutes organizationsand experts6000 countriesfromContributorsgroupsexpert15060ICES is organizationintergovernmentalanwith20MemberCountries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

Lis Lindal Jørgensen, Martine van den Heuvel-Greve, and Sei-ichi Saitoh summarized the main points of the overview: “The Central Arctic Ocean ecoregion mostly comprises deep ocean, far from any land (high seas). Climate change is the dominant and overarching driver in the ecoregion. Declining sea ice is affecting stratification and mixing of water masses, species' range and abundance, and facilitating long-distance exchange of species between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans."

There are strong concerns about the impacts of climate change and industrial activities, and these impacts may be particularly pronounced in Arctic Indigenous communities dependent on the health and stability of the ecosystem. The combination of unprecedented, rapid change and increased interest in the Arctic in general and the Northern Bering and Chukchi seas specifically make this an opportune time for a synthesis of issues and knowledge. An integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) can accomplish this synthesis.

Arctic research has been a priority for our organization over the last decade from the perspective of better understanding how the Arctic ecosystem is changing and its impacts on both natural and human dimensions in this ecosystem.


In 2021, ICES published a new Ecosystem Overview for the Central Arctic Ocean ecoregion. The Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (WGICA), a joint group of ICES, the Arctic Council Working Group on the Protection and sustainable use of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), and the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) were the main contributors to the,

“The Central Arctic Ocean is a sink for contaminants and litter transported from global sources via ocean currents, rivers, and air. The ecoregion is unique in the sense that it has fewer human activities than other ICES ecoregions. However, sea ice loss is creating opportunities for the development and expansion of human activities, shipping in Aparticular."lackofevidence in the ecoregion is a major challenge when developing an Ecosystem Overview for the Central Arctic Ocean. Information and evidence from the surrounding shelf seas, such as the Barents Sea, has also been considered.

Complementing the work of WGICA and strengthening information and evidence in the Arctic region is the establishment of the new ICES/ PICES Joint Working Group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of the Northern Bering Sea-Chukchi Sea (WGIEANBS-CS). Seasonal sea ice declines and warming temperatures have been more prominent in the Northern Bering and Chukchi seas than almost all other areas of the Arctic.

The(WGOH),contaminantschemistrygroups on marine litter (WGML), zooplanktonecology (WGZE), seabirds (JWGBIRD), marine (MCWG), biologicaleffectsof (WGBEC),oceanichydrographyandtheintegratedecosystemassessmentgroup(IEA)for theCentralArcticOcean (WGICA).ArcticCouncil’sArcticMonitoringandAssessmentProgrammeworkinggroup(AMAP)measuresandmonitorspollutantsandclimatechangeeffectsonecosystemsandhumanhealthintheArctic.BiotadataarequalitycontrolledandhostedatICES.ThesedataareassessedbyAMAP;

the results are presented using the application launched by ICES in 2021. The Ocean Decade Arctic Action Plan was launched in 2021. ICES was a member of the Arctic Ocean Decade Task Force and contributed to the development of the first regional Action Plan in support of the Ocean Decade. ICES integrated ecosystem assessment work is highlighted as a tool to address the challenge of providing the entire Arctic region with a detailed open access inventory of data and information. Following our continued cooperation with the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), both our organizations will work together in this region within the Ocean Decade. SmartNet was established by ICES and PICES as a global knowl edge network for ocean science and will sup port and encourage establishment of joint work ing groups, workshops and symposia with part ners of ICES and PICES in the Southern Pacific and Southern Atlantic and will extend cooperation in the PrioritiesArctic.for ICES and PICES within the Ocean Decade focus on climate change, fisheries and ecosystem-based management, social, ecological and environmental dynamics of marine systems, coastal communities, traditional ecological knowledge and human dimensions.

Marine litter is highlighted in the Central Arctic Ocean Ecosystem Overview as one of the major human pressures in the region. “Information on marine litter in the ecoregion is currently limited, but research efforts are ongoing to examine litter in the water column and sediment”. ICES was a partner in the International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and SubArctic Region which took place online in March. The symposium evaluated how extensive the status of plastic pollution is in Arctic and Subarctic waters, where it comes from, and how it is transported to the region, as well as investigating how breakdown processes operate in the region, how the different types and sizes of plastic affect organisms, what are the possible mitigation methods and how can they be put into operation. Topics were directly related to the work of many ICES expert groups, in particular the


Pollution is carried by wind and ocean currents

The Central Arctic Ocean ecoregion has fewer human activities than other ecoregions. This is due to the ice cover, the depth of the ocean, the harsh climate and remote location, and the absence of land and human settlements.

spreadingsinkingPollutionand CENTRAL ARCTIC OCEAN ECOSYSTEM

speciesNon-indigenous pollutiontransportingWind

Introduction of nonindigenous species At least 34 NIS have been observed in adjacent Arctic marine waters, as well as numerous cryptogenic species. Ship biofouling and natural currents are the most likely mechanisms for the introduction of NIS to the ecoregion.

The accumulation of contaminating compounds in the deep Arctic Ocean is facilitated by the surface transport and subsequent cooling (and sinking) of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic and the wind driven clockwise circulation in the Beaufort Gyre, which accumulates and sinks surface water down into the water column.

The main human pressures affecting the ecoregion are the introduction of contaminating compounds, marine litter, the introduction of non-indigenous species, and underwater noise.


compoundsChemical mainfoodwebsbioaccumulatethatinareaconcern


The main human sources of underwater noise in the ecoregion are ship traffic, the seismic surveys used in oil and gas exploration in adjacent areas, and military sonars.

Plankton Marine litter

Macro- and microplastics are transported by rivers, ocean currents, and air masses into the ecoregion. Plastics have been found in sea ice, which may act as an important transport vector across the ocean surface and down the water column. Underwater noise

High levels of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are found in seabirds and top predators in Arctic areas adjacent to the ecoregion, and these have population effects on marine mammals such as polar bears.


12 IMPACT S O F CLIMATE CHANGE WORKING CLIMATE-AWARETOWARDSADVICEICEShasbeenexaminingtheimpactofclimatechangeonourecosystemsaswellasfishandtheirpopulationsformanyyearsandin2021,wecontinuedtoexplorehowtheshort,medium,andlong-terminfluencesofclimatechangecouldbeaccountedforinICESadvice.


"Scientists – and society in general – are increasingly concerned about climate change and its impact on living resources", states Fabrice Pernet, Ifremer, France. Concerns about food security ensure, "that aquaculture products are increasingly important for human nutrition". Pernet’s exploration of the current research on "the potential impacts, adaptation, and mitigation strategies of marine aquaculture in an era of rapid change" led to a themed set of articles in ICES Journal of Marine Science, Marine aquaculture in the Anthropocene, which includes a paper from the Working Group on Scenario Planning on Aquaculture (WGSPA) asking if ICES Member Countries have the potential to maintain a sustainable supply of seafood for their populations.

“Climate change considerations need to be part and parcel of fisheries management considerations, and quota allocations and a review of present-day governance structures for fisheries management is needed. Gear and vessel innovations are needed to reduce the CO2 emissions of fishing activities and industry, and policy-makers should start by focusing on the low hanging fruits.” This was the conclusion of the Joint ICES/Nordic Marine Think Tank Workshop exploring the establishment of a Nordic Climate Change Forum for Fisheries and Aquaculture (WKNCCFFA) held at the end of the year, which brought together fisheries and aquaculture stakeholders and scientists from the Nordic countries to advance collaboration on addressing the challenges imposed by climate. Climate change impacts were included for the first time in an ecosystem overview in 2021. The Celtic Seas ecosystem overview references rising sea surface temperature, declining primary production, a decline in larger copepods, and distributional shifts reported for most of the commercially important species in the ecoregion, as well as discussing the impacts on international management plans associated with these distributional shifts. The increase in offshore renewables and possible impacts on fisheries are also examined.


In 1991, climate change and ecosystem functioning were the two main scientific drivers for the establishment of the Working Group on Zooplankton Ecology (WGZE) and are still critical in influencing the direction of the group's work and the topics addressed after 30 years. Evolving legislation, such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in 2008, has led to an increasing demand for zooplankton data. The group’s membership has also increased, growing from about ten members in the early days to almost 100 today. WGZE has met every year since its creation, and physical participation at annual meetings has also increased with 32 members attending the most recent physical meeting in 2019.


The Working Group on Zooplankton Ecology (WGZE) recently revived the series of Identification Leaflet for Plankton after a publication hiatus of 18 years. Antonina dos Santos, previous chair of WGZE and SCICOM member for Portugal is series editor along with Lidia Yebra, current chair of WGZE and SCICOM member for Spain. Dos Santos states, "The plankton leaflets are an important resource and reference for the marine science community, as they are regularly consulted by scientists and students alike. They represent one of the main sources of online taxonomic guides for plankton identification and can be useful for future building of automatic image analysis of Zooplanktonplankton."diversity is key to pelagic ecosystem function and resistance to stressors, but it remains a significant unknown throughout the global ocean. Ann Bucklin, University of Connecticut, USA and recipient of ICES Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019, who has played a key role in WGZE’s success as well as the establishment of the expert group on integrated morphological and molecular taxonomy (WGIMT) in 2011, was the motivator of one of the year’s themed sets in ICES Journal of Marine Science. Patterns of Biodiversity of Marine Zooplankton Based on Molecular Analysis showcases the ongoing refinement of molecular approaches for analysis of zooplankton diversity with many contributions by members of  WGIMT. Molecular approaches have provided remarkable solutions for the challenge of analyzing zooplankton diversity as part of the regular monitoring and management of human activities in the ocean. ecosystems.


Revival of ID Leaflets for Plankton

The Zooplankton Methodology Manual, the Zooplankton Status Reports, and the International Zooplankton Symposia are among other major achievements of the group, all of which have had an important impact on the wider field. In its thirtieth year of existence, and in the middle of a pandemic, the group met remotely rather than in person. The online format provided greater accessibility, and 60 participants logged in and held discussions that were as rich and constructive as ever.


The Workshop on Testing OECM Practices and Strategies (WKTOPS) explored if area-based fisheries management (ABFM) measures could be identified as “other effective area-based conservation measures". The workshop was organized together with the Fisheries Experts Group of the IUCN Commission of Ecosystem Management (IUCN/CEM/FEG).

1 What is an OECM and how does it differ from an MPA? A marine protected area (MPA) is a spatial management measure used to protect habitats or species by excluding human activities that may be harmful to the particular protected habitat or species. An “Other effective area-based conservation measure” (OECM) is a geographically defined area other than a protected area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and, where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and other locally relevant values.


2 Serge Garcia, Fisheries Expert Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN/CEM/FEG)

“For the fishery sector, other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) are both a challenge and a great opportunity. They are a challenge because the formal identification of an OECM has implications in terms of monitoring, enforcement, and recurrent assessment of performance. It is an opportunity to obtain recognition of the fact that as a sustainable use of aquatic biodiversity, well managed fisheries not only maintain and build harvested stocks but also contribute to biodiversity conservation."

Engineers/technicians scientific, sampling, fishing gear Researchersacademics&

WKTOPS investigated how to evaluate areas with spatial fisheries measures in place as OECMs, aided by IUCN/CEM/FEG Guidance on OECMs in Fisheries. Six case studies from the North Atlantic were evaluated, differing in size, biodiversity features, types of measures in place, jurisdictional authority, and expected biodiversity benefits. The measures evaluated included permanent area closures, closures to specific gears or fisheries for particular stocks, and licensed uses of an area for aquaculture. All case studies were found to produce outcomes consistent with the intent of OECMs.



privately funded Industry fishers, processersenergy,etc organizationsEnvironmental lobbyistsconservation, Citizen scientists Who should be engaged in science?best Managers national, regional & international People knowledgetraditional/localwithResearchers&academics publicly funded usersDownstreamofadvice

3 The Workshop on Testing OECM Practices and Strategies (WKTOPS) was the first meeting to apply the OECM criteria, taking a systematic approach to identification, use and performance assessment to chosen examples of spatial measures that were managed through Area-based Fisheries Management.

18 ICES provides scientific advice on the marine ecosystem and associated human impacts and services to governments and international regulatory bodies that manage the North Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. In 2021, recipients of ICES advice included the European Commission, the governments of Iceland, Norway, and the United Kingdom, the OSPAR Commission (OSPAR), the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). Despite challenges associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ICES published 189 pieces of advice on recurrent fishing opportunities and 11 technical services. Advice was also published on vulnerable marine habitats, discarding and bird bycatch in the NEAFC Regulatory Areas, bycatch of protected, endangered, and threatened species, estimation of bycatch mortality of marine mammals within the OSPAR maritime area, and how management scenarios to reduce mobile bottom-fishing disturbance on seabed habitats affect fisheries landing and value. We produced ecosystem overviews for 11 ecoregions, fisheries overviews for 11 ecoregions, mixed-fisheries advice for four ecoregions, and an aquaculture overview for the Norwegian Sea. What is the need for ICES advice? Requesters of advice have a need for evidence to inform management – but why use ICES? We strive to maintain trust and engagement with and relevance to the organizations and countries that request our advice – and thus to management and society.


Using ICES as a case study for an organization working at the marine science-policy interface, a second paper by Cvitanovic et al. identified what constitutes success for such organizations, showing successes can be seen in impacts on the organization, impacts on policy, impacts on science, impacts on people, and impacts on ecosystems and society.

ICES advisory framework

Achieving diverse successes is dependent on characteristics of the process, the people and the organisation.  Cvitanovic,  et al. 2021

Providing knowledge for complex challenges In 2021, the European Commission, in relation to Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 6 on seafloor integrity, requested how management scenarios that can reduce mobile bottom-fishing disturbance on seabed habitats, can affect fisheries landing and value. This was the latest advice request in a process that highlighted the complex and iterative process of ICES advice production. This process began in 2017 with a series of workshops (WKBENTH, WKSTAKE, and WKTRADE) addressing an earlier advice request from the Commission to evaluate indicators for assessing pressure and impact on the seabed from mobile bottom-contacting fishing and demonstrate trade-offs in catch/value of landings relative to impacts and recovery potential of the seabed. The resulting advice indicated that a large fraction of landings and revenue from bottom fisheries are obtained from a relatively small part of the area

19 In 2021, a number of peer-reviewed papers used ICES as a case study to highlight success in the science for policy realm. Trust is identified as a key component by Cvitanovic et al. 2021. This trust is created through transparency, not lobbying for a specific outcome, having a clear process for developing and providing advice, and demonstrating independence – all strategies found within ICES advisory framework and principles. Regularly engaging with stakeholders is a further strategy in building trust. Published in 2021, Cooperative Research Report No. 353: The process in ICES of opening up to increased stakeholder engagement (1980 to 2020), explores this evolution over the past 40 years right up to the current day where ICES principles, policies, and Strategic Plan require stakeholder engagement.

A follow-up technical workshop evaluated the suite of management options prioritized by stakeholders for different EU marine regions and analysed their consequences for the overall benefit to seabed habitats and loss of fisheries values.  New in ICES advice In 2021, the first aquaculture overview was published for the Norwegian Sea ecoregion. ICES has extensive experience using the ecosystem-based approach for both ecosystem and fisheries overviews. However, aquaculture is different, as it typically occurs within a country's domain, where there are no international agreements to assist with cooperation. Instead, ICES asked stakeholders (such as industry, academic researchers, and NGOs) directly via an extensive online survey  what areas they would like addressed in an aquaculture overview: the overwhelming reply was climate change and socio-economic information.

In 2019, WKTRADE2 identified best practices to better reflect bioeconomic cost and benefit trade-offs and outlined progression towards potential management options which fully account for the socio-economic value of fisheries as well as the consequences of effort mitigation measures.  Following this, the EU then requested ICES to advise this year on a set of management options to reduce the impact of mobile bottomcontacting fishing gears on seabed habitats, and for each option provide a trade-off analysis between fisheries and seabed quality. Stakeholders were invited to participate in the WKTRADE3 workshop to ensure the analysis of all relevant management options.

2010 2015 2021 Because bottom-contact fishing provides a major source of physical disturbance to the seabed around Europe, it affects many seabed habitats and is therefore a major pressure that needs to be addressed in order for Member States to achieve good environmental status under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

David Connor, Policy Officer, EU Directorate-General for the Environment

fished in the North Sea, underscoring a potential management option that reduces fishing impacts on the seabed with a relatively small cost to the fisheries.

The inclusion of the interaction of environmental, economic, and social drivers in an overview is a first for ICES advice, and this covers the most recent understanding on the potential environmental, economic, and social interactions to aid aquaculture planning. It also indicates the growing capability of ICES expert network to address socio-economic issues. Another first was providing a future perspective on threats and opportunities. Climate change, biological or ecological threats associated with aquaculture activities, and development trends (including emerging candidate species and production methods)  are considered.  Terje Svåsand, Institute of Marine Research, Norway, led the ecoregion work on this first aquaculture overview. He states, "The aquaculture overview contributes to knowledge of aquaculture activities in the ecoregion and how aquaculture interacts with environmental, economic, and social drivers, and it will be useful in the ongoing efforts to support cross-sector assessments and a possible future coastal integrated ecosystem assessment."

Michael Rust, NOAA Fisheries and former Chair of the Aquaculture Steering Group

Incorporating innovation and new knowledge into the advisory process means that ICES advice is based on the best available knowledge. In 2021, WKIRISH developed an approach that uses ecosystem indicators to provide ecosystem-based fishing mortality reference points (FECO) within ICES FMSY ranges, adding ecosystem information to ICES catch advice. Accepted by the Advisory Committee (ACOM) as an approach to provide advice on fishing opportunities, FECO scales fishing mortality down when the ecosystem conditions for the stock are poor and up when conditions are good. The approach shows that ecosystem understanding can be incorporated within the existing precautionary framework, contributes to the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, and moves towards ecosystem-based fisheries management.

ICES is certainly on the path to being for aquaculture what it is for fisheries – that is, a community of scientists that applies its skills and research to ensuring that aquaculture is managed intelligently. This includes both the science and the advice, plus the pathway between the two. This is a big topic and often overlooked by the relatively small aquaculture research community.

The overview sets the social and economic context for aquaculture in the ecoregion, describing the key drivers of aquaculture development and whether these drivers negatively or positively impact the nature as well as the extent of aquaculture development in the region over time, for example local food supplies and income/job creation vs international market demands and competition.


Through partnership with the World Maritime University and PhD research on the project Empowering Women for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, we have been working on gender equality within our organization, and 2021 was a year dedicated to scoping, raising awareness, and planning actions across institutional levels. We kicked off the year by sponsoring a screening of the film “Picture a Scientist” for our community. The film thoughtfully portrays the experiences of women working in the sciences today. It provided a great stepping off point for consultations with our network, where we started the discussions around creating an inclusive working environment and the complex factors that may be contributing to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles in the organization. At our Annual Science Conference, we hosted a virtual network session on Gender equality, diversity, equity, and inclusion, where feedback from panelists and the audience helped shape thinking about further actions needed, including a gender equality plan.


Embracing diverse career stages is also critical to the future of our organization and the new Strategic Initiative on Integration of Early Career Scientists, (SIIECS) launched this year, recognizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion with a specific term of reference that cross-cuts their activities.

Fostering an inclusive and welcoming working environment where science can flourish is at the heart of the commitment in our Strategic Plan, “to cultivate a welcoming, resourceful, diverse, inclusive, and gender balanced, as well as respectful working environment”.

ICES is a network of people of diverse geographic, cultural, and disciplinary backgrounds.

We have also been working on understanding the equitable coproduction of advice and developing a strategy that provides a framework through which stakeholder engagement can continue to evolve, ensuring the credibility, legitimacy, and relevance of ICES science and scientific advice.

The strategy is primarily focused on ensuring that people who are involved in any participatory process in ICES have clear roles and responsibilities and that ICES performs its work fairly and transparently. Increased opportunities for diverse resource users and citizens require clear avenues to engage with the different aspects of ICES network. Considering and promoting diversity and inclusion and reducing and avoiding implicit bias are crucial in this process.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions on travel and gathering in large groups meant that the 2021 Annual Science Conference (ASC) was organized as a virtual conference for the first time. Our flagship event attracted 800 participants from 37 countries, who joined the sessions during 6—10 September. The new format allowed us to test new approaches, providing greater accessibility and preparing for lower carbon futures. Early career scientists made up 32% of participants, and half of all participants attended the ASC for the first time. The programme included three keynote presentations, 18 theme sessions, three network sessions, and opening and closing ceremonies, as well as opportunities for online networking via the conference app. Altogether 234 oral presentations and 76 posters were submitted to our online platform.

Organizing an online conference brought new challenges to the traditional concept, creating more preparatory and support work. Participants also learnt new skills and were challenged to submit a recorded presentation within a specific time limit and far in advance of the normal ASC deadlines. More Secretariat staff were needed to ensure the parallel sessions ran smoothly. Participants were invited to view recorded session content in advance, which allowed the sessions to focus on interaction and discussions.

Registered participants could view all presentations from mid-August until the end of September.



Based on feedback from participants, the conference was a success. Having gained some valuable experience, both the organization and community are now better prepared to move to the post-COVID, hybrid mode of working.

25 Dave Reid Carlos M. Duarte Rebuildingmarinelife: anAgrandchallengeandethicalobligation AwardICESOutstandingAchievement2021recipient Yunne Shin Uncertainty inscenarios and modelsof biodiversity Martin Smith marketsglobalregulationValueandinseafood RIOLONIRD/LUC©


Through a combination of online meetings, live and recorded video lectures, assigned reading, and hands-on work, a full online programme was successfully delivered by ICES Training Programme in 2021.

Analyses of VMS data for ecosystem and economic impacts of fisheries 8–12 February INSTRUCTORS:2021 Niels Hintzen, Wageningen Marine Research, Netherlands Katell Hamon, Wageningen Economic Research, Netherlands 26

Inne Withouck, University of Highlands and UnitedIslands,Kingdom

What I learnt about VMS, coding, and the fishing industry will help me in my PhD, and it has also given me some ideas of analyses to try out on a publicly available dataset made by ICES which was made using VMS data.

INSTRUCTORS: Coby Needle, Marine Scotland,United Kingdom Colin Millar, ICES Secretariat Is there something missing from ICES Training Programme? We are always happy to receive course proposals. Please contact

INSTRUCTORS: Jan A. Pechenik, Tufts University, USA Howard Browman, Institute of Marine Research, Norway

INSTRUCTORS: Carryn de Moor, University of Cape Town, South Africa José De Oliveira, Cefas, United Kingdom Simon Fischer, Cefas, United Kingdom

Introduction to Management Strategy Evaluation 23–27 August 2021

Scientific writing and publishing 26 and 28–30 April 2021

The most important thing I gained from the course was to really get to know the knack of writing and improve my style to write clear and concise science to enhance my chances for publication and sharing knowledge. Jasper Van Vlasselaer, ILVO, Belgium As instructors, we think the course ran very smoothly online. We had deliberately investigated and trial-tested tools available to us prior to the course to try to ensure effective participation online and replicate some of the advantages of meeting in person. Although there were participants from many time zones, almost all of them joined all the sessions live to benefit from break-out session discussions, as well as Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation.

Introduction to tagrecapture campaigns 4–8 October INSTRUCTORS:2021 Lisa Aillouad, NOAA, USA Doug Beare, ICCAT, Spain 27

Introduction to Stock Assessment 27 October–1 November 2021

28 experts3392from 66 different countries took part in meetings in 2021 = 17,934 DAYS! Combining all the days experts spent on ICES work in 2021 IN NUMBERS 395 tookmeetingsplace 12 Ecosystemoverviews 1 Aquacultureoverview overviewsFisheries 11

ConferenceAnnualjoinedparticipantsICESonlineScience762 The ASC streamed 40 hours of live sessions NUMBERS oral presentations and 76 posters were submitted 234 29 5 training courses with 140 participants – all online 4 Identificationleaflets Techniques in MarineSciencesEnvironmental(TIMES) 2 spentAttendeesatotal of 2411 hours watching thecontentuploaded 3 ResearchCooperativeReports(CRR) Scientific reports 135

30 ICES BUDGET ALL AMOUNTS IN DANISH KRONER 1,750,0001,750,0001,750,0001,750,0001,312,5001,312,500875,000437,500656,2501,312,500875,000437,500437,5001,312,5001,312,500875,0001,312,5001,312,5001,312,5001,312,500 23.406.250 437,500 23,843,750 NATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS 2021 USAUnitedSwedenSpainRussianPortugalPolandNorwayNetherlandsLithuaniaLatviaIrelandIcelandGermanyFranceFinlandEstoniaDenmarkCanadaBelgiumFederationKingdom Total national contributions Contributions from Faroe Islands and Greenland Total contributions

31 INCOME FROM PRODUCTS AND SERVICES (ICES advice requesters: EC DG MARE and ENV, OSPAR, NEAFC, NASCO, Iceland, Norway; ICES data handling for OSPAR and HELCOM) OTHER INCOME 4,255,916Contracts, projects, and ICES Journal of Marine Science 22,660,301 TransferExpenditurefrom equity Financial income Balance of the year 56,413,967 5,454,000 200,000 0 TOTAL INCOME 50,759,967