At PICES-2016, the ICES President requested that PICES join an existing ICES/PAME (Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment) Working Group on an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Central Arctic Ocean. This request was approved by Governing Council (Decision 2016/S/5). Preparing an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) is a step needed to provide scientific advice on issues such as the prospect for future fisheries in the Arctic Ocean and sensitivity and vulnerability in relation to shipping activities. The working group also aims to improve the understanding of climate and ecosystem variability of the North Atlantic as well as in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska in the North Pacific.
WG 39 will consider approaches and methodologies for the IEA in the Central Arctic Ocean. For this purpose it will collect the relevant data and carry out analyses. Moreover, core research areas will be identified and outline of the CAO ecosystem will be developed.