In its 25 years of existence PICES has achieved remarkable success in furthering our understanding of the North Pacific's natural and socioeconomic systems. Dedicated and tireless efforts of the many natural and social scientists from all its member countries have enabled us to understand basin-scale phenomena that we did not know about 25 years ago, such as regime shifts and their ecosystem impacts—from biogeochemistry, through phytoplankton production, to higher trophic levels including fisheries and coastal communities. Building on these foundational results, we now embark on the next 25 years of PICES that should lead to better observations, improved understanding of mechanisms of change, and ultimately better predictions of status and trends in North Pacific ecosystems. Forecasting the effects of natural and anthropogenic change, especially climate change, will allow adaptation based on the ecological, societal, and economic resilience of our coasts and oceans. Increasing resilience is a key societal challenge and will only be possible with increased scientific knowledge of the North Pacific and intergovernmental collaborations like those developed within PICES.
The founders of PICES saw the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean not as something that separates us, but rather as a factor that unites us. They knew that to unravel the inner workings of the North Pacific, PICES member countries would need to work together. To recognize the leadership that set us on this path, we encourage contributions on how present day problems are being addressed with the science and tools that we developed over the past 25 years. Looking forward, we encourage visionary papers on what challenges might be expected over the next 25 years. The list of past and future topics of interest in PICES is long, and includes basin- and regional-scale issues such as coastal ecosystem stressors (eutrophication, hypoxia, pollution, ocean acidification), loss or changes of marine biodiversity, changing productivity and species distributions in response to climate change, developing outlooks or forecasts of future ocean ecosystems, and examining climate change impacts on ocean ecosystems and human society. We welcome submission of topic sessions or workshops directed to these or other North Pacific marine science issues.