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Scientific Program and Structure

S1: Science Board Symposium
25 Years of PICES: Celebrating the Past, Imagining the Future

Thomas Therriault (SB)
Angelica Peña (BIO)
Elizabeth Logerwell (FIS)
Chuanlin Huo (MEQ)
Jennifer Boldt (MONITOR)
Kyung-Il Chang (POC)
Toru Suzuki (TCODE)
Steven Bograd (FUTURE)
Hiroaki Saito (FUTURE)
Igor Shevchenko (Russia)

Invited Speakers:
Cornelius Hammer (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES))
Naomi Harada (Research and Development Center for Global Change (RCGC), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japan)
Alan Haynie (NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center, USA)
Guido Marinone (Centro de Investigación Científica y de Eduación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Mexico)
Philip Munday (James Cook University, Australia)
Phillip Mundy (Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NMFS, NOAA, USA)
Essam Yassin Mohammed (International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK)

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.

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S2: BIO/TCODE/FIS Topic Session
Early Life History Stages as Indicators and Predictors of Climate Variability and Ecosystem Change

Richard Brodeur (USA)
Tony Koslow (USA)
Ian Perry (Canada)
Moto Takahashi (Japan)

Invited Speakers:
Janet Duffy-Anderson (NOAA, USA)
Jon Hare (NOAA, USA)
Akinori Takasuka (National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (Yokohama, Japan))

As management strategies become more ecosystem-based and climate-driven, there is a need for more information on the influence of oceanographic variability and climate change in regulating fisheries resources and on marine communities more generally. Ichthyoplankton abundance provides proxies for adult spawning stock biomass, so insight into changing fish communities can be obtained from ichthyoplankton time series. The early life stages of fish and invertebrates may also be critical in determining year class success and subsequent recruitment to fisheries. This session will examine changes in the abundance, distribution, and ecological relationships of early life stages (eggs to juveniles) of fish and invertebrate taxa in relation to climate. Studies that use these stages as indicators of ecosystem stress or long-term variability in relation to the ocean environment are encouraged, as are studies that use them as an indicator of future adult recruitment. Examples of the uses of ichthyoplankton or juvenile surveys in ocean observation programs and ecosystem assessment or management of stocks and in forecasting future trends in fisheries and fish communities are highly encouraged. The conveners especially seek presentations that examine the role early life stages may play in assessing ecosystem structure and dynamics and the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change

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S3: MEQ Topic Session
Source, Transport and Fate of Hydrocarbons in the Marine Environment

Co-sponsor: GESAMP

Hideaki Maki (Japan)
Staci Simonich (USA)
Robert Duce (GESAMP, Texas A&M University)

Invited Speakers:
Kenneth Lee (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia)

This session will focus on the behaviour, fate and effects of hydrocarbons in the marine environment. While it is expected that some examples of oil spills (catastrophic release of hydrocarbons) will be examined, most discussions will focus on chronic, low level releases from multiple sources that are far more evasive and widespread (e.g. ballast discharges, fuel release, harbour contamination). Following two successful sets of activities at PICES 2014 and 2015 (‘Microplastics’ and ‘Indicators of ocean pollution’), the WG-31 (Emerging Topics Marine Pollution; ETMP) proposes to organize, convene and facilitate the third in its planned series of Special Sessions. The topic for 2016 is to comprehensively address the science of ‘Source, transport and fate of hydrocarbons in the marine environment’. This is timely for PICES as it follows up on the 2015 workshop on short term response workshop (“Marine Environment Emergencies: Detection, monitoring and response”). This topic is also timely since oil and gas exploration, development and transport is taking place to varying degrees around the North Pacific Ocean. Thousands of different hydrocarbon compounds are found in fuels, each with different physical and chemical properties. The resulting complex interactions between these compounds and components of the marine environment highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary and up-to-date sharing of knowledge. This knowledge will provide insight into the consequent risks to biota, the design of monitoring programs, the choice of analytical methods, and management responses following leaks or spills. This Special Topic Session will feature invited speakers from several national organizations. A Special Issue in a scientific journal will arise from the presentations on “Source, transport and fate of hydrocarbons in the North Pacific Ocean”. Presenters and others will be invited to submit a manuscript on the topic, with the goal of the resulting compendium being to become a useful reference work for scientists and managers.

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S4: FIS Topic Session
Climate Variability, Climate Change and the Reproductive Ecology of Marine Populations

John Field (USA)
Sandi Neidetcher (USA)
Michio Yoneda (Japan)
Sukgeun Jung (Korea)

Invited Speakers:
Olav Kjesbu (Hjort Centre for Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway)
Richard McBride (NOAA Fisheries, Woods Hole Laboratory, USA)

Ongoing efforts to understand the consequences of both climate variability and climate change on marine populations have focused on indirect metrics of productivity, primarily recruitment, growth, distribution. The question of how the reproductive ecology, particularly reproductive output, of marine fishes, invertebrates, mammals and other organisms may be altered by a changing climate is difficult to address. Fully understanding all aspects of the reproductive ecology of populations when developing and parameterizing stock assessment and other population models is key to accurately assessing reproductive output and potential, as those in turn relate to productivity and both static and dynamic views of carrying capacity. The appreciation for the significance of age and size dependent factors that relate to reproductive potential continues grow, particularly for many long lived and slow growing species for which factors such as size dependent fecundity, skipped spawning, multiple brooding and other maternal effects continuing to contribute to a greater appreciation for the need to understand reproductive complexity. Higher turnover species, particularly indeterminate spawners, are presumably more sensitive still to climate variability and change. Future climate change, with expected impacts on means, modes of variability, and the phenology of ocean conditions, will interact with the effects of fishing to alter reproductive potential in complex and unanticipated ways. This Symposium will seek contributions that focus on the mechanisms and consequences of environmental variability and potential change on the reproductive potential of marine fishes, or model and simulation studies that evaluate the likely or plausible consequences of such changing ocean conditions, with the ultimate goal to understand possible future changes to the carrying capacity and productivity of marine populations.

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S5: BIO/MONITOR/MEQ Topic Session
Understanding our Changing Oceans through Species Distributions and Habitat Models based on Remotely Sensed Data

Patrick O’Hara (Canada)
Elliott Hazen (USA)
Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Japan)
Yutaka Watanuki (Japan)

Invited Speakers:
Robert Suryan (Oregon State University, OR, USA)

Determining marine animal distributions directly through at-sea observations or tracking is costly and logistically challenging. Moreover, even with limitless time and resources, information is limited because many species disperse over long distances including trans-hemispheric migrants. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) provide a tool to estimate present distributions and to project into the future (assuming species-environment relationships remain strong), but these models require substantial environmental data to accurately predict distribution and change. Increasingly, SDM approaches rely on remotely-sensed satellite data as indices of environmental conditions, particularly as proxies for primary and possibly secondary productivity. Satellite datasets are inexpensive to use, widely served, well-documented (i.e., scientifically defensible), and globally synoptic, allowing for easy spatio-temporal comparisons. However, satellite-borne sensors measure characteristics of the ocean at the surface while marine organisms respond to spatial and temporal features of the ocean at depth, which may require more complex approaches. In this session, we will investigate the opportunities and challenges of using satellite-based habitat models and ways we can advance SDMs for a better understanding our changing oceans and for improving management. In particular, we solicit papers exploring the benefits and tradeoffs of using satellite-borne data to detect mechanisms of distributional and range shifts. This session will provide the PICES community and the FUTURE program with a better sense of the quality of fisheries, seabird, and marine mammal SDM under development in relation to climate change in the North Pacific.

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What Factors make or break Trophic Linkages?

Elliott L. Hazen (USA)
Jameal Samhouri (USA)
Shin-Ichi Ito (Japan)
Jennifer Boldt (Canada)

Invited Speakers:
Masashi Kiyota (National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, Fishery Research Agency, Japan)
Kenneth Rose (College of the Coast & Environment, Louisiana State University, USA)

Mechanistic linkages from physics to phytoplankton to zooplankton to fish remain central to understanding climate forcing on marine ecosystems. Thus, it will be useful to understand how ecosystem linkages and species distribution are influenced by ocean features and how these linkages translate through the food web. Specifically, what information can be gained from moving beyond a single linkage (e.g. phytoplankton to zooplankton) towards a comparison across trophic levels in three very different North Pacific ecosystems. Examples of such factors may include but are not limited to broad scale anomalies (e.g. the blob, ENSO events, Kuroshio / Oyashio dynamics), temporal mismatches among physical processes, prey, and predators (match / mismatch hypothesis), and population fluctuations (e.g. lipid poor vs. lipid rich zooplankton). We have suggested (but are not limited to) three study areas, the California Current, the Kuroshio Current, and the Bering Sea to examine linkages from physics to phytoplankton, phytoplankton to zooplankton, zooplankton to fish, birds and mammals, and fish to birds and mammals. By looking at multiple ecosystems and trends and anomalies across multiple trophic linkages, we can better understand how climate variability and anthropogenic forcing may cascade through these marine ecosystems. We propose a topic session that will involve participation from multiple PICES committees and will focus on physical forcing and trophic linkages from physics to top predators. Specifically, we request presentations on topics that (a) examine how changes in physical oceanography lead to long term trends or anomalous responses in primary production, zooplankton, fish, and top predators, (b) examine how trophic relationships may respond to physical forcing and changes in species abundance and spatial distribution, and (c) test for threshold responses (non-linearity) across trophic levels to changes in physical oceanography and the population dynamics of other species (competitors, prey, and predators).

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S7: POC/TCODE/MEQ Topic Session
New Stage of Ocean Acidification Studies: Responses of Oceanic Ecosystem including Fisheries Resources

Co-sponsor: ICES

Tsuneo Ono (Japan)
Jun Kita (Japan)
Debby Ianson (Canada)
John Pinnegar (ICES / UK)

Invited Speakers:
John Pinnegar (Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, UK)
George Waldbusser (Oregon State University, USA)
Steve Widdicombe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK)

Considering over 20 years of progress on ocean acidification studies, our knowledge on biological responses in response to acidified ocean environments has accumulated to some extent. WGII report of IPCC AR5 illustrates a sensitivity matrix of ocean life to acidification among a wide range of species and pCO2 levels, showing our present terminus of this scientific topic. However, our progress simultaneously awakes various new questions, such as the response of biology to temporally-varied pCO2, inter-species interactions under acidified environments, and biological adaptation. Also, we have gradually come to realize the existence of ocean acidification by eutrophication, as well as by anthropogenic CO2, in coastal regions. Emergence of these new questions reveals that we are now moving into a new stage of understanding on the ocean acidification problem, in which we may be able to make more realistic and quantitative predictions about future biological/ecological responses to an acidified ocean, and socio-economic response of humans to changes in ocean conditions. In this session we recruit diverse studies on biological/ecological responses to ocean acidification, including fisheries resources, both in coastal and open ocean environments. We particularly welcome reports from advanced issues on this field, including the response of biology subjected to temporally-varied pCO2, inter-species interaction under acidified environment, and biological adaptation.

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S8: MoE/MEQ/TCODE Topic Session
The Effect of Marine Debris caused by the Great Tsunami of 2011

Co-sponsor: PICES MoE ADRIFT Project

Cathryn Clarke Murray (Canada)
Nancy Wallace (USA)
Hideaki Maki (Japan)
Thomas Therriault (Canada)

Invited Speakers:
James Carlton (Professor of Marine Sciences Emeritus, Williams College, USA)

Call for Papers:
Special issue of Marine Pollution Bulletin
We invite presenters and participants attending the upcoming Annual Meeting of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization to submit manuscripts to a planned Special Issue in the international scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

The Great Tsunami of 2011 washed an estimated five million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. The Government of Japan estimates that 70% of that debris sank close to shore, leaving 1.5 million tons floating in the North Pacific with the potential to arrive on North American and Hawaiian coastlines. While shorelines worldwide already endure marine debris from terrestrial and aquatic sources there may be additional impacts from the increase in abundance and differing debris types associated with the tsunami. Aside from the impacts of additional marine debris itself, there is the possibility of debris carrying coastal Japanese species to new habitats. An event of this magnitude offers unique opportunities to investigate the transport of non-native species, oceanographic processes and impacts of marine debris in general. With Working Group 21 on Non-indigenous Aquatic Species completed in 2012 and Working Group 31 on Emerging Topics in Marine Pollution formed in 2013, PICES members are well-placed to contribute to research on the potential impacts of Japanese tsunami marine debris. Funded by the Ministry of Environment of Japan, research on the effect of tsunami marine debris is ongoing under the PICES project ADRIFT (Assessing the Debris-Related Impact of Tsunami). Session presentations may cover the surveillance and monitoring of tsunami-generated marine debris, modeling the movement of marine debris in the North Pacific, the social impacts of tsunami debris and the risk from potentially invasive species to coastal ecosystems. The conveners especially seek presentations that address the impacts of tsunami debris on coastal communities and ecosystems.

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S9: FIS/TCODE Topic Session
Resilience, Transitions and Adaptation in Marine Ecosystems under a Changing Climate

Co-sponsor: ICES

Franz Mueter (USA)
Ken Drinkwater (Norway)
Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Japan)
Emanuele Di Lorenzo (USA)

Invited Speakers:
Benjamin Planque (Institute of Marine Research, Tromsø, Norway)

Marine ecosystems respond to climate variability and anthropogenic forcing at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. While there is a growing literature on the capacity of social-ecological systems to cope with climate change, the resilience of physical and ecological marine systems to climate change remains poorly understood. In the context of ongoing climate change, resilience refers to the capacity of a system to absorb disturbances and to reorganize so as to maintain its essential structure, function, identity and feedbacks. This concept presumes the existence of alternative stable states or regimes that are separated by reversible transitions. The concept also presumes the possibility of thresholds or tipping points that may be irreversible and are associated with the loss of essential structure and function. In an ecological context, tipping points occur if key organisms are no longer able to adapt to changes in their environment. This session explores the concept of resilience (sometimes also called stability) in both physical ocean systems and in the associated ecological systems from plankton through fish. We invite theoretical studies and applied case studies that help refine our understanding of resilience in a marine ecosystem context, provide practical approaches to measuring resilience, define “essential structure and function” of marine ecosystems, identify thresholds beyond which essential structure and function may be lost, examine ways in which resilience of marine ecological systems can be enhanced, and explore the phenotypic and evolutionary adaptive capacity of marine organisms to deal with gradual changes and transitions. Our hope is that this session will ultimately contribute to the development of more plausible scenarios for future physical and biological changes in marine ecosystems, which are needed to facilitate climate change adaptation in socio-economic systems that depend on marine resources.

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S10: FUTURE Topic Session
The Response of Marine Ecosystems to Natural and Anthropogenic Forcing: Past, Present and Future

Steven Bograd, NOAA (USA)
Hiroaki Saito (Japan)
Jacquelynne King (DFO, Canada)
Sukyung Kang (NFRDI, Korea)

Invited Speakers:
Masaki Miya (Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, Japan)
Ryan Rykaczewski (University of South Carolina, USA)
Jennifer Sunday (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Samantha (Sam) Stevenson (National Center for Atmospheric Research, CO, USA)

‘Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems’ (FUTURE) is an integrative Scientific Program undertaken by the member nations and affiliates of PICES to understand how marine ecosystems in the North Pacific respond to climate change and human activities, to forecast ecosystem status based on a contemporary understanding of how nature functions, and to communicate new insights to its members, governments, stakeholders and the public. One of the principal aims of FUTURE is to improve our understanding of how marine ecosystems respond to natural and anthropogenic forcing, and how marine ecosystems will change in the future. In this session, we will (a) review our state of knowledge on how climate variability and change affect the processes underlying ecosystem structure and function, (b) identify critical gaps in our understanding, and (c) provide an assessment of our capacity to forecast climate-driven marine ecosystem changes. Advances in the understanding of climate impacts on marine ecosystems, and a broad dissemination of this information, is essential for preserving a healthy and sustainable North Pacific for FUTURE generations.

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S11: POC Topic Session
Advances in Understanding and Modeling of Physical Processes in the North Pacific in the Past 25 Years of PICES and Future Directions

Shin-ichi Ito (Japan)
Kyung-Il Chang (Korea)
Steven Bograd (USA)

Invited Speakers:
Michael Foreman (Scientist Emeritus, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada)
Jerome Fiechter (Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California-Santa Cruz, USA)
Vyacheslav Lobanov (V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute (POI), Russia)
Ichiro Yasuda (The University of Tokyo, Japan)

Since its birth in 1992, the Physical Oceanography and Climate Committee (POC) have promoted and coordinated physical and chemical oceanography, atmospheric science, and interdisciplinary research in the northern North Pacific. Impacts of climate variability and physical dynamics in coastal, shelf and open ocean areas are considered with emphasis on processes that are related to living marine resources and environmental quality. POC addressed the following topics in order to achieve the goals of PICES through its expert groups: ocean circulation, the Okhotsk Sea and the Oyashio region, modelling physical processes, carbon cycling, connection between ocean variability and climate change, exchange between continental shelf waters and the nearby ocean, and future climate projections in regional-basis. POC can continue to contribute to PICES and PICES scientists by deepening our understanding of physical and chemical processes in ocean and climate in the North Pacific and also by providing leadership in identifying key issues associated with a central issue of PICES, understanding and projecting the long-term variability of the North Pacific ecosystems. The session will review the advancement of processes that POC has identified and consider new challenges that POC should target to improve understanding of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific.

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S12: MONITOR/BIO/TCODE Topic Session
Causes and Consequences of 25 Years of Variability in Ocean Conditions on the Ecosystems of the North Pacific

Bill Peterson (USA)
Jack Barth (USA)
Sanae Chiba (Japan)
Yury Zuenko (Russia)

Invited Speakers:
Emanuele Di Lorenzo (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
Art Miller (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego, USA)

Climate change is upon us in terms of both slow chronic change and increased physical and ecosystem variability. Slow increases in SST, ice melting, sea level, hypoxia, ocean acidification and northward shifts in species are cause for concern, however for many scientists, climate variability at the seasonal-to-interannual time scale is of greater interest. This is especially true for the North Pacific where PICES scientists have been leaders in showing how increased variability in physical forcing at the basin scale (e.g., the PDO, NPGO and ENSO) affects productivity of marine ecosystems. Indeed, recognition of the impact of physical forcing at the basin scale on local ecosystems was among the earlier focal points of PICES research and clearly opened our eyes to the need to look at the physical forcing across the entire basin, not just local drivers of ecosystem variability. In the 25 years since PICES was established, many unusual oceanographic events have occurred in the throughout North Pacific that have affected the physics, plankton and fisheries: change in the PDO from 20-30 year cycles to the 5-10 year cycles seen at present, the extended "warm ocean" period of 1993-1998 that resulted in the listing of many salmon species as threatened or endangered, the really big El Niño events of 1997-98 and 2015-16, the 2002 sub-Arctic intrusion, the smaller 2003-2005 and 2009-10 El Niño events, the cold North Pacific in 2008, and of course the warm Blob in 2014.  We seek papers that analyze and synthesize regional variations in recent climate variability and ecosystem response in coastal waters off Asia as well as the Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea, and the major current systems: Kuroshio, Oyashio, North pacific and California Currents.

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S13: MONITOR/TCODE Topic Session
Understanding the Changing Coastal Ocean: Advances and Challenges in Multi-parameter Observations

Vyacheslav B. Lobanov (Russia)
Matthew Baker (USA)
Sung Yong Kim (Korea)
John Barth, USA (USA)
Daisuke Ambe (Japan)

Invited Speakers:
Hidekatsu Yamazaki (Department of Ocean Sciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan)

Major changes in coastal ocean ecosystems occur across the North Pacific and its marginal seas on a variety of time scales, from weeks to years. Examples include warming events associated with low (e.g., El Nino) and high latitude (“warm blob”) forcing, and coastal hypoxia influenced by both natural and anthropogenic forcing. These major changes involve physical, chemical, and biological processes and their interaction. Sustained, high-quality, multi-parameter coastal observations are required to discern changes from normal seasonal patterns and to detect long-term trends. We invite contributions that address the role of coastal ocean observations in advancing our understanding of these major physical-biological changes in North Pacific coastal oceans. These may include techniques for sustaining multi-sensor time series and the use of new measurement platforms, as well as new measurements and understanding of regional interactions and coastal-deep ocean interactions at various areas of PICES region. Subsequent discussion will facilitate an exchange on how major regional phenomena (e.g., ENSO, anomalous warming) are expressed at localized scales, best practices and new approaches in observational techniques, and regional comparisons.

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BIO Contributed Poster Session 1
Recent Progress in Deep-Sea Research and Conservation: Lessons from Various Parts of the Globe

Alexei Orlov (Russia)
Tony Koslow (USA)
Orio Yamamura (Japan)
Evgeny Pakhomov (Canada)

In recent years, intensive study of deep-sea ecosystems (continental slope, seamounts, trenches, troughs, and mid-water layers) of the global ocean has received increased attention because of the high levels of endemism and extreme vulnerability of their biota to any impact, particularly due to human activities. In the past, deep-sea research was focused mainly on the qualitative and quantitative composition of particular species or component of deep-water ecosystem. Currently, studies of life cycles, evaluation of anthropogenic impact, conservation of biological and genetic diversity, safe and sustainable exploitation of biological resources and their protection from destruction during human activities (fishing, mining, shipping, etc.) have become increasingly important. Several projects under the "Census of Marine Life (CoML)" program were conducted during recent years, namely CeDAMar, Mar-Eco, CenSeam, ChEss, etc. There were also several local projects focused on deep-water biodiversity studies of the Sea of Okhotsk (SokhoBio), Japan/East Sea (SoJaBio) and Kurile-Kamchatka Trench (KuramBio). Protection of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) in deep waters has received increasing attention, including data reporting requirements management action, in FAO, CCAMLR and a number of RFMOs such as NAFO, NEAFC, SEAFO, SPRFMO, etc. In the Southern Ocean German-led Antarctic Benthic Deep-Sea Biodiversity Project (ANDEEP) has provided critical new data that has been incorporated into the work of CCAMLR. For the Southern Indian Ocean, IUCN and SIODFA announced Benthic protected areas. Modern significant progress in deep-sea research became possible mainly due to development of new methodologies and technical equipment, including ROV's, landers, various recorders, etc. This poster session will provide a forum for sharing recent advances in deep-sea research and conservation in various parts of the global ocean in the whole, and the North Pacific in particular. Contributions on recent biological studies and conservation in deep waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Southern oceans are encouraged.

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BIO Contributed Poster Session 2

Angelica Peña (Canada)
Se-Jong Ju (Korea)

The Biological Oceanography Committee (BIO) has a wide range of interests spanning from molecular to global scales. BIO targets all organisms living in the marine environment including bacteria, phytoplankton, zooplankton, micronekton, benthos and marine birds and mammals. In this session, we welcome abstracts on biological aspects of marine science in the PICES region, except those covered by other Topic Sessions or Workshops sponsored by the Biological Oceanography Committee (BIO).

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FIS Contributed Poster Session

Xianshi Jin (China)
Elizabeth Logerwell (USA)

This session invites abstracts addressing general topics in fishery science and fisheries oceanography in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by other Topic Sessions or Workshops sponsored by the Fishery Science Committee (FIS).

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MEQ Contributed Poster Session

Chuanlin Huo (China)
Darlene Smith (Canada)

Abstracts are invited on all aspects of marine environmental quality research in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by other Topic Sessions or Workshops sponsored by the Marine Environmental Quality Committee (MEQ).

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POC Contributed Poster Session

Kyung-Il Chang (Korea)
Michael Foreman (Canada)

Abstracts are invited on all aspects of physical oceanography and climate in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by other Topic Sessions or Workshops sponsored by the Physical Oceanography and Climate Committee (POC).

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MONITOR Contributed Poster Session

Jennifer Boldt (Canada)
Sanae Chiba (Japan)

This session invites abstracts addressing general topics in monitoring and regularizing observations in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by other Topic Sessions or Workshops sponsored by the Monitoring Committee (MONITOR).

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S-HD Contributed Poster Session

Mitsutaku Makino (Japan)
Keith Criddle (USA)

The Section on Human Dimensions of Marine Systems (S-HD) is holding a poster session for the promotion, coordination, integration and synthesis of research activities related to the contribution of the social sciences to marine science, and to facilitate discussion among researchers from both the natural and social sciences. We invite abstract submissions on any of these topics.

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POC Workshop (W1): Acidification of the North Pacific Ocean: a basin-wide assessment

James Christian (Canada)
Tsuneo Ono (Japan)

Invited Speaker:
Karen Kohfeld (Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada)

Ocean acidification has been proceeding for a century, at an accelerating rate, and its impacts are beginning to be felt in many corners of the North Pacific. This workshop will bring together scientists from all of the PICES countries to synthesize our observations and projections of acidification processes and impacts in our respective countries' waters and adjacent international waters. This workshop is the culmination of a two-year long process of collation of relevant information, and synthesis of data collected in each of the countries of the North Pacific basin. The workshop proceedings will form the basis for subsequent assessments, with improved understanding of which ocean regions are most vulnerable to acidification impacts, and how additional resources might best be deployed to predict or detect changes likely to produce significant impacts.

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MEQ Workshop (W2): Conditions promoting extreme Pseudo-nitzschia events in the eastern Pacific but not the western Pacific

Vera Trainer (USA)
Polina A. Kameneva (Russia)

Invited Speakers:
Inna Stonik (Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Vladivostok, Russia)

There is clear evidence of contrasting occurrence and impacts of the toxin-producing diatom, Pseudo-nitzschia, between the western and eastern Pacific. In 2015, a massive bloom spanning from California to Alaska, had major impacts on the shellfish industry economic viability and on wildlife health. In contrast, Pseudo-nitzschia are not highly toxic and do not cause economic losses in the western Pacific. These data provide a unique opportunity for east-west Pacific comparisons to identify and rank those environmental factors that promote harmful algal bloom (HAB) success at different times. The recent PICES-funded workshop on HABs and Climate Change emphasized the importance of studying such extreme events to enhance our understanding of climate impacts. This workshop will focus on Pseudo-nitzschia, a diatom that historically has had massive economic impacts in the eastern PICES member countries, with low or no impacts in the western Pacific. The workshop foundation will be an extension of the current dataset to the 1990s and earlier where available, with PICES participants pre-submitting available data on: HAB species presence, maximum abundance, toxicity, optimal conditions for growth, time of year, temperature range, salinity range, water clarity, nutrients, wind, river flow (flooding), and upwelling indices. Workshop participants will evaluate the trends and patterns in these data to develop hypotheses for development into outlook products in the morning, and develop an outline for manuscript preparation in the afternoon, including writing assignments and submission deadlines. The manuscript will be targeted for an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.

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BIO Workshop (W3): Distributions of habitat-forming coral and sponge assemblages in the North Pacific Ocean and factors influencing their distributions (2 days)

Kwang-Sik Choi (Korea)
Janelle Curtis (Canada)
Masashi Kiyota (Japan)
Chris Rooper (USA)

Invited Speaker:
Hiroya Yamano (Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, NIES, Japan)

Changes in the marine environment influence global and regional distribution patterns of marine organisms including corals and sponges in shallow, mesophotic, and deepwater ecosystems. The biogenic habitats formed by these organisms support a broad range of biodiversity, and provide critical habitats for some socio-economically important fishes and invertebrates that attract commercial fishing and other anthropogenic activities. The aim of this workshop is to improve our understanding of factors influencing the distributions of corals and sponges in the North Pacific Ocean, improve habitat models predicting their distribution, and predict how their distributions are likely to shift in response to natural and anthropogenic forcing, including climate change. In preparation for the workshop, WG-32 Members and collaborators will compile new data on corals and glass sponges in the North Pacific Ocean as well as existing environmental data to improve model prediction and interpretation based on a multi-model approach. Specifically, deep-sea coral habitat suitability models developed using records from all ocean basins will be improved with the addition of coral location data from the North Pacific Ocean. New habitat suitability models will be developed for deep-sea sponges and multi-model comparisons will be made for both coral and sponge taxa. Workshop participants will be invited to discuss, compare, and evaluate the influence of predictor variable data, and different modelling approaches on results. This process will help identify potential ecological and physiological mechanisms influencing their distributions and provide insight into the potential for changes in their distribution under different climate change scenarios. A novel contribution anticipated from this workshop will be the first habitat predictions for glass sponges (Hexactinellida) at a basin-wide scale in the North Pacific Ocean. Workshop participants will synthesize lessons to be learned from the modelling exercise, future tasks to further improve predictive accuracy, and possible applications for supporting marine spatial planning processes.

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FIS Workshop (W4): Methods relating oceanographic conditions to the distribution of highly migratory species

Cosponsoring Organization: International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC)

Gerard DiNardo (USA)
Chi-lu Sun (Chinese Taipei)

Invited Speakers:
Barbara Muhling (NOAA, USA)

This workshop will be convened by the proposed Joint PICES-ISC Working Group on Oceanographic Conditions and the Distribution and Productivity of Highly Migratory Fish, as identified in the Working Group's Terms of Reference (first workshop-PICES 2016 Annual Meeting in USA). The distribution and productivity of many commercial pelagic fish populations in the North Pacific are determined by large-scale oceanographic processes and climate variability. One hypothesis is that highly migratory pelagic species, such as albacore (Thunnus alalungus), have environmental thresholds and preferences that drive their distribution and productivity. This workshop will focus on statistical modeling approaches that link spatially explicit environmental data (e.g., satellite derived SST) to distributional fish data (e.g., commercial catch per unit effort data, CPUE) for highly migratory species. Group discussion will help facilitate identification by the Joint Working Group of a suitable methodology to use to develop habitat models of albacore and to provide possible scenarios for future fishery CPUE 'hot spots'. Papers that deal with common difficulties in relating spatially explicit data to fish distributional data (e.g., zero-inflated data, mismatch between spatial or temporal resolution of oceanographic to distributional datasets), are also encouraged.

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FIS Workshop (W5): Modeling effects of climate change on fish and fisheries

Anne B. Hollowed (USA)
Shin-ichi Ito (Japan)

Invited Speakers:
Michio Kawamiya (JAMSTEC, Japan)

S-CCME convened a workshop in August 2015 to discuss the details needed to establish an international effort to project the response of fish and fisheries to different climate change scenarios and fisheries management strategies. Several regional modeling teams were identified that would form the core of the S-CCME projection modeling research effort. S-CCME members were tasked with working with modelers within each of the modeling nodes to initiate projections in 2016. This workshop will provide an opportunity for S-CCME investigators and collaborating modelers in each of the regional nodes to meet to discuss the current status of their regional integrated modeling teams. Specific goals of this workshop are to: a) identify analytical approaches that are being used in each of the regional nodes; b) review methods for comparing projections derived from different suites of single species climate enhanced projection models, multispecies climate enhanced projection models, full food web (e.g., EcoSIM), and dynamic spatially explicit ecosystem models; and c) preliminary inspection of the implications of future climate change on commercially important marine fish stocks in the northern hemisphere. Results will provide a critical opportunity for S-CCME scientists to coordinate their regional modeling efforts. S-CCME members plan to use the scenarios derived from the regional modeling teams to provide climate-informed options for mitigation of, and management of harvested resources under a changing climate. The format will allow for breakout groups for intra-disciplinary discussions and plenary interdisciplinary research. Projected outcomes of these scenarios using population dynamics models of different approaches and complexity will allow analysts to compare and report on the relationship between model complexity, efficiency, and the computational costs of increased ecological realism in models. Expected products include a meeting report.

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BIO Workshop (W6): Consumption of North Pacific forage species by marine birds and mammals

Andrew Trites (Canada)
Elliott Hazen (USA)
Tsutomu Tamura (Japan)
Yutaka Watanuki (Japan)

Invited Speakers:
Julie Thayer (Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research, CA, USA)

Marine birds and mammals (MBMs) are known to consume substantial amounts of prey species, and can impact their abundance and sometimes induce trophic cascades. Therefore, MBMs can have large impacts on forage fish populations, the broader ecosystem, and can compete with other top-predators and fisheries. Quantifying the effects of MBMs on marine ecosystem requires detailed knowledge of diets and abundance of prey species consumed. Such data are also needed to examine the influence of climate variability and change on trophic linkages in the North Pacific, as well as to understand how changes in prey quantity, quality, composition and distribution affect the abundance and distribution of marine birds and mammals. Our proposed workshop is a key priority of S-MBM’s new program (2015-2019) to assess the climate and trophic ecology of marine birds and mammals. We will invite modelers (movement and energetics of animals) and holders of dietary and distribution data for approximately ten of the most intensively studied species of seabirds and marine mammals in the North Pacific to 1) give succinct reviews and overviews of modelling techniques and the temporal and spatial data sets held by their agencies or collaborators (during the morning). Breakout groups in the afternoon will enable affirmation of species and regions of interest, discuss limitations of the data sets, identify alternative sources of data and information, and discuss synergies among the diet data and the movement and bioenergetic models. The conveners will meet the following morning to prepare the workshop report. Holding this workshop is an important first step in compiling and integrating the dietary and movement datasets we are seeking, and ensuring that the models that will be developed through the S-MBM are well thought through and have a high probability of success.

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MONITOR Workshop (W7): Delivering quality multi-parameter data from the coastal ocean

Co-sponsor: Ocean Networks Canada

Akash Sastri (Canada)
Chuanxi Xing (China)

Invited Speakers:
Rich Pawlowicz (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Zhifeng Zhang (National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center (NMEMC), SOA, PR China)

This workshop is a priority for the PICES Advisory Panel on North Pacific Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (AP-NPCOOS). We propose a 1-day workshop of talks and discussion toward the goal of developing ‘best practices’ for ensuring high-quality sensor observations in coastal marine ecosystems in the North Pacific. The coastal ocean is a region with important fisheries and other ecosystem benefits, while at the same time being subject to human pressures. In order to assess coastal marine ecosystem status and changes, including any long-term trends, high-quality observations of a variety of physical, chemical and biological variables must be made and sustained. Sensor-based observations are critical to coastal observation programs and are used as part of ship-based sampling programs, fixed-point platforms (i.e. long-term mooring and cabled deployments), mobile platforms (i.e. gliders, ferries), and are necessary to ground-truth remote sensing observations (i.e. turbidity, chlorophyll and CDOM). The quality of these observations depends on sensor choice, pre-deployment sensor preparation and calibration, platform and sensor deployment, post-deployment sensor calibration and data processing and dissemination. We invite contributions that deal with all aspects of delivering high-quality data from the coastal ocean, in particular techniques for measuring biogeochemical parameters (oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll) and mitigating biofouling and sensor drift.

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POC Workshop (W8): Mesoscale and submesoscale processes in the North Pacific: history and new challenges


Kyung-Il Chang (Korea)
Hiromichi Ueno (Japan)
Annalisa Bracco (USA)

Invited Speakers:
Sachihiko Itoh (The University of Tokyo, Japan)
Naomi M. Levine (University of Southern California, USA)

Oceanic mesoscale flow fields like eddies, upwelling, and fronts at spatial scales of ~10 – 100 km have been extensively studied for their dynamics and various contributions to marine ecosystems. Motions on the submesoscale (~1 km) and their impacts on the marine ecosystem, however, are less well known. Submesoscale features are often found along the periphery of mesoscale eddies and involve larger vertical fluxes than those associated with mesoscale eddies which then have substantial effects on the phytoplankton productivity. Submesoscale processes also interact with mesoscale processes. Understanding the fundamental physics of these processes, their influence on lateral and vertical fluxes, and how they influence the functioning of the marine ecosystem is necessary in order to assess likely changes and shifts to the system under a changing climate. Faced with these important issues, however, observational skills, theoretical understandings, and modeling techniques are still immature. This workshop provides a forum to discuss the physics and biology of the ocean at the meso- and sub-mesoscales based on observations and modeling and to clarify our challenges in the next decades. Ideas and conclusions from this workshop may be incorporated into a new PICES working group.

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POC Workshop (W9): The role of the northern Bering Sea in modulating Arctic environments: towards international interdisciplinary efforts

Co-sponsor: North Pacific Research Board (NPRB)

Lisa Eisner (USA)
Matthew Baker (USA)
Kirill Kivva (Russia)

Invited Speakers:
Seth Danielson (University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA)
Kirill Kivva (Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), Russia)
Alexander Zavolokin (North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC))

Despite the fact that the Bering Sea is outside the Arctic Ocean, in many ways it behaves as an Arctic sea. The northern Bering Sea influences the state of the southern Chukchi Sea ecosystem as well as the functioning of many other Arctic regions, including the central Arctic. The Pacific Arctic Region has received great attention during the past few years:
- RUSsian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA) annual cruises and publications
- Adaptation Actions for the Changing Arctic AMAP Report part C (in preparation)
- The Pacific Arctic Region synthesis (Grebmeier and Maslowski, Eds., 2014).
Yet, the scientific efforts in the Northern Bering – Southern Chukchi Sea region are conducted mostly at the national level, and would benefit from joint multinational coordination.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers representing multiple national and international institutions and multiple scientific disciplines (e.g. oceanography, plankton, fisheries) to share data, share knowledge, build collaborations and conduct outreach. We invite scientists interested in 1) physical oceanography and chemical fluxes, 2) plankton distribution and ecology, 3) fisheries and ecosystem dynamics, and 4) modeling efforts across the northern Bering Sea region. Talks will be followed by discussion periods. Depending on the success of the proposed workshop, and the interests of the participants, a PICES Study Group may be established to work on data sharing and coordination at the international level at future meetings (e.g., a 2nd workshop is anticipated for the fall 2017 annual meeting in Vladivostok, Russia).

Workshop products

Potential participants are encouraged to provide metadata describing past and present research efforts and to submit applicable Ecological Time Series Observations (ETSOs) presented or discussed during the workshop to the North Pacific Ecosystem Status Report. Results from this workshop will also be presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage AK, January 2017, and summarized in an article in the PICES Press semi-annual newsletter.

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MEQ Workshop (W10): Distribution and risk analysis of radionuclides in the North Pacific

Yusheng Zhang (China)
Kathryn A. Higley (USA)

Invited Speakers:
Núria Casacuberta (ETH Zürich, The Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics and Environmental Physics, Switzerland)

The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident resulted in a large pulse of radioactive contaminants being released into the North Pacific. While radiation is recognized as a potential stressor in environmental systems, this workshop will consider the data collected to date to determine if the radionuclides released have had significant impacts on ecosystems within the North Pacific. Participants will present and discuss radionuclide transport and fate, and any observed impacts from the FDNPP radionuclides on the marine ecosystem in the North Pacific. Participants will be encouraged to exchange information on new techniques and methodologies for monitoring environmental radioactivity and assessing the effects of radionuclides. Discussions on information gaps and research priorities in monitoring and assessment will also be conducted. The workshop organizers will invite other relevant international organizations (such as SCOR, ICRP/IAEA) as co-sponsors and invited speakers to share their reports on research and progress with regard to the monitoring and assessment on the marine environmental radioactivity in the North Pacific.

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