Cefas scientists to lead sessions at World Fisheries Congress
04 May 2012
Cefas scientists are due to make major contributions during the
6th World Fisheries Congress
(WFC), which takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, 7-11 May
Cefas provides research and advisory, consultancy and monitoring
services to the UK government and other public- and private-sector
Its scientists also hold key positions within international
bodies such as the International Council for
the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which provides detailed
advice for European Commissioners and national ministers. The
Secretariat for the Marine
Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) is also delivered by
Dr John Pinnegar, Programme Director of Cefas'
Climate Change Centre (MC3), sat on the local
Organising Committee for the 6th WFC, and says: "
Alex Salmond, the First Minister for Scotland, opens the
Congress on Tuesday. Later that day there will be a high-level
debate about the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, involving
UK ministers and representatives from the EU Commission and
"UK and Scottish Fisheries Ministers,
Richard Benyon and
Richard Lochhead respectively, will also launch an MCCIP
'special topic' Report Card. This focuses on climate change,
fisheries and aquaculture."
John Pinnegar will also be presenting a talk on Marine
Protected Areas (MPAs) and climate change, arguing that changes
in seawater temperatures may mean that species shift away from
designated protected areas, so MPA boundaries and objectives may
need to be more adaptive to such changes in the future.
Other Cefas scientists are chairing major topic areas.
For instance, Dr Simon Jennings co-chairs the
"Sustainable fisheries: reconciling conservation objectives"
strand, which includes 29 speakers in four sessions over two days.
The sessions will explore trade-offs between fish production and
the conservation of vulnerable species, habitats and the
Simon Jennings is also involved in seven other talks, ranging
from climate change impacts on marine shelf ecosystems to
quantifying the recovery rates and resilience of seabed habitats to
Drs David Righton and Alan Walker are convening
symposium on the conservation of the global eel fishery. The
session will include 50 speakers over three days, with six keynote
speakers from around the world, one of whom will give a major
conference address. The Cefas pair are also hosting an IUCN Anguilla (eel)
David Righton says: "We're really happy with the representation
that one small family of fish has attracted, and we hope to spread
some crucial messages about eels and about the eeliad project."
Cefas has led the EU's eeliad project, and Cefas scientists were
recognised at the 2011 Civil Service Awards for their innovative
"flotsam tags", used to track eels' migration to the Sargasso Sea -
still a relative mystery.
Throughout the rest of the week there will be a series of
debates focusing on standards and certification, illegal fishing
and financing sustainable fisheries. Representatives from the
fishing industry, food companies, major supermarkets, universities
and learned institutes, and specialist non-governmental
organisations will attend alongside scientists and
Other Cefas scientists presenting their work include:
Modelling changes in the North Sea ecosystem: showing
strong evidence that temperature is an important driver of change
in the North Sea, and arguing that modelling must go hand in hand
with empirical analysis. Steve Mackinson will also be on hand to
represent GAP2, a European
fisheries-science project that he leads.
Will Le Quesne
Predicting reference points and trade-offs associated with
fishing impacts on biodiversity: providing a preliminary
assessment of the extent of trade-offs between fishery yields and
the conservation status of a range of demersal fish in the
northeast Atlantic ecosystem.
Will Le Quesne will also present a paper on the ecosystem
effects of ocean acidification on fisheries: arguing that
potential effects require a fuller understanding of the sensitivity
of different biological processes across species.
Michael Armstrong, Andrew Payne and Thomas
The UK's Fisheries Science Partnership (which Cefas
leads): analysing, amongst other things, whether or not
the programme has been successful in improving the engagement of
the fishing industry in the science-management process.
Fish welfare in wild-capture marine fisheries: asking
whether this subject is likely to move further up the public
Exploring the ecosystem approach to fisheries management:
arguing that a unified monitoring strategy can improve both
fisheries and ecosystem advice, enabling us to distinguish local
effects from ecosystem ones.
For a full programme, information about keynote speakers and
abstracts of the WFC presentations visit http://www.6thwfc2012.com/scientific-programme/.