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Scientific Program and Structure

VS1 (S1): Science Board Symposium
How does 30 years of research on changing North Pacific ecosystems inform the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Date, Time, Duration (1):
Mon, Oct. 26, 2020
1930-2110 (Sidney, BC, PT)
1 hour 40 min.

Date, Time, Duration (2):
Tues, Oct. 27, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Hiroaki Saito (SB)
Vera L. Trainer (SB)
Akash Sastri (BIO)
Xianshi Jin (FIS)
Mitsutaku Makino (HD)
Guangshui Na (MEQ)
Sung Yong Kim (MONITOR)
Emanuele Di Lorenzo (POC)
Jeanette C. Gann (TCODE)
Steven Bograd (FUTURE)
Sukyung Kang (FUTURE)
Igor Shevchenko (Russia)
Motomitsu Takahashi (Japan)

Invited Speakers:

For 29 years, PICES has conducted investigations of North Pacific ecosystems. There has been a significant focus on multidecadal ecological processes and a more recent emphasis on the impacts of changes in the ocean on the human societies that rely on the North Pacific. The FUTURE Science Plan has identified several important science questions about the status and future of North Pacific marine ecosystems. As a result, PICES scientists are well-positioned to contribute to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It is now urgent for PICES scientists to identify the most important science questions which must be answered to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and to suggest effective ways to answer these questions, mobilizing the coordination within PICES and collaborations with other partners.

We welcome submissions for topic sessions and workshops that address these issues, including : 1) What are the greatest issues of concern regarding the status and health of the North Pacific Ocean, 2) Are there critical science issues for ocean Sustainable Development Goals that PICES is not addressing? and 3) What kind of blueprint is necessary to facilitate the coordinated ocean observation, prediction and ecosystem and social service systems for the North Pacific, so that the diverse interests of PICES significantly contribute to the goals and objectives of the UN Ocean Decade.

Email S1 Convenors

VS3 (S13): MEQ Topic Session
Using eDNA to assess and manage non-indigenous species in the North Pacific

Date, Time, Duration:
Wed, Oct. 28, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Co-sponsor: NOWPAP

Jeanette Davis (USA), corresponding
Keun-Hyung Choi (Korea)
Thomas Therriault (Canada)

Invited Speakers:
Hitoshi Araki
(Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Japan)
Kwang Young Kim
(Dept of Oceanography, Chonnam National University, Korea)
Satoshi Nagai
(Fisheries Resources Institute, Fisheries Stock Assessment Center, Japan)

Non-indigenous species (NIS) cause ecological and/or economic harm and are a threat to biodiversity. The spread of aquatic NIS has increased in the last decade due to globalization and other related human activities. Preventing all introductions is not possible, thus early detection is the most valuable cost-effective control and eradication option, yet many species are difficult to detect using traditional survey techniques, especially over large spatial areas. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) as a new and rapidly growing tool to detect, monitor, and quantify species for biodiversity and conservation management is of considerable interest. In comparison to traditional methods, eDNA sampling is more sensitive, less harmful to the environment, cost-effective, safer for both species and field staff, and more targeted for identifying species of interest. Therefore, eDNA is a promising tool for early detection of NIS. However, the effectiveness for this technique across many NIS taxonomic groups and habitat types is unexplored and could have important management implications. This topic session will explore the use of eDNA to detect and assess NIS status in the North Pacific. The goal is to evaluate the landscape of how eDNA monitoring is being applied in the NIS community globally and to share information relevant to management and policy. Since different environments and species will require different sampling standards, there are potential opportunities for lessons learned and shared methodologies for data collection, analyses, and comparison.

Email S13 Corresponding Convenor
Email S13 Invited Speakers

VS4 (S14): FIS Topic Session
Implementing a collaborative, integrated ecosystem high seas survey program to determine climate/ocean mechanisms affecting the productivity and distribution of salmon and associated pelagic fishes across the North Pacific Ocean

Date, Time, Duration:
Wed, Oct. 28, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Mark Saunders (NPAFC), corresponding
Hal Batchelder (PICES)
Suam Kim (Pukyong National University, Korea)
Alex Zavolokin (NPFC)
Brian Wells (NMFS)
Motomitsu Takahashi (Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Japan)

Invited Speakers:

The high-seas pelagic ecosystems spanning the entire North Pacific Ocean north of 33ºN support five species of Pacific salmon and Steelhead trout as well as associated species such as Pacific saury. Salmon spend the majority of their lives in these high-seas ecosystems. While considerable effort by Russian and Japanese scientists has been directed to ecosystem surveys of the western North Pacific Ocean over the past 30 years, the central and eastern North Pacific remain poorly studied. As a result, the scientific community is not well positioned to provide explanation and advice to decision makers regarding the implications of an increasingly uncertain environment where changing marine conditions in the high seas are implicated in reductions in salmon productivity that are having severe social and economic impacts. To begin addressing this gap, the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) and partners in winter 2019 conducted a high seas expedition in the Gulf of Alaska with scientists from around the Pacific rim. If successful it could provide a template for a broader and potentially on-going pan-Pacific expedition A workshop (W16) at PICES-2019 reviewed the findings to date and found the expedition was a considerable success. There were novel observations of the winter distribution of salmon and the associated ecosystem structure along with the development and application of new technologies. Just as important, the cruise demonstrated the effectiveness of a multi-national collaboration. The expedition findings, while not yet fully analyzed, informed plans for a 2021 expedition of up to five vessels to synoptically survey the full breadth of the North Pacific pelagic ecosystem to a depth of 100m. In addition to the broad synoptic sampling of the oceanography and biota, fine spatial scale studies are being considered to test hypotheses relating to mechanisms regulating the production of salmon. A PICES session is proposed to inform the further development of the 2021 expedition. Researchers from the 2019 expedition will be invited to present recent findings of the 2019 expedition. Experts on life history modelling will be invited to speak on approaches that can combine the results of freshwater, coastal and high-seas ecosystem surveys to generate meaningful advice to managers. Additionally, researchers with expertise in hydroacoustics and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) will be invited to inform the development of fine scale studies to test hypotheses related to the mechanisms affecting winter distribution and productivity.

Email S14 Corresponding Convenor

VS5 (S5): BIO/POC Topic Session
Atmospheric nutrient deposition and microbial community responses, and predictions for the future in the North Pacific Ocean

Date, Time, Duration:
Thu, Oct. 29, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Jun Nishioka (Japan), corresponding
Guiling Zhang (China)
Huiwang Gao (China)
Kitack Lee (Korea)
Santiago Gassó (USA)
Maurice Levasseur (Canada)

Atmospheric deposition is an important nutrient source for marine ecosystems, with consequences for local, regional, and global biogeochemical cycles, as well as the climate system. This session focuses on natural and anthropogenic atmospheric nutrient inputs to the North Pacific Ocean. Microbial communities respond to changing atmospheric inputs, which may result in significant effects on the marine carbon and nitrogen budgets, as well as on atmospheric carbon dioxide uptake. Key questions to be addressed within this theme are: How do biogeochemical and ecological processes interact in response to natural and anthropogenic material input from the atmosphere across costal and open ocean regions? How do global warming, ocean acidification, and other anthropogenic stressors synergistically alter the uptake of atmospheric nutrients and metals by marine biota in different oceanic regions? What is the prognosis for the future? We welcome new interdisciplinary presentations and active discussions on physical, chemical, and biological sciences both from the ocean and atmospheric fields in this session.

Email S5 Corresponding Convenor

CANCELLED VS6 (S16): FUTURE Topic Session
FUTURE Plenary on PICES’ Engagement With the UN Decade of Ocean Science

Date, Time, Duration:
Thu, Oct. 29, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Steven Bograd (USA), corresponding
Sukyung Kang (Korea)

3-4 talks on the UN Ocean Decade and FUTURE related activities, followed by an open discussion

Invited Speakers:

In December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030; to “support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean”. The Decade is designed to “facilitate stronger international cooperation to bolster scientific research and innovative technologies to ensure science responds to the needs of society”:

  • A clean ocean where sources of pollution are identified and removed
  • A healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected
  • A predictable ocean where society has the capacity to understand current and future ocean conditions
  • A safe ocean where people are protected from ocean hazards
  • A sustainably harvested ocean ensuring the provision of food supply
  • A transparent ocean with open access to data, information and technologies
The FUTURE Science Program, and PICES more generally, shares many of the goals of the Ocean Decade. Furthermore, as the key inter-governmental marine science organization in the North Pacific, PICES has the aspiration and capacity to be the key regional partner of the Ocean Decade. In this session, we will (a) present the goals and planning for the UN Ocean Decade; (b) describe ongoing and planned FUTURE activities to provide the scientific and organizational infrastructure to implement the activities of the Ocean Decade in the North Pacific; and (c) conduct an open discussion for the PICES community to ask questions and provide suggestions for how PICES can most effectively engage with the UN Ocean Decade.

Email S16 Corresponding Convenor

W4: SB Topic Workshop
How does the Pacific Arctic gateway affect the marine system in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO)?

Date, Time, Duration:
Tue, Oct. 13, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Sei-Ichi Saitoh (Japan), corresponding
Hyoung-Chul Shin (Korea)
Guangshui Na (China)
Lisa Eisner (USA)
Libby Logerwell (USA)

Invited Speaker:
Jackie Grebmeier
University of Maryland, USA

The Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) is in rapid transition, largely driven by North Pacific environmental change, allowing it to become accessible to a range of activities. Rapid loss of sea ice cover has opened up the CAO for potential fishing opportunities. The agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO) has been signed and is expected to enter into force soon. Scientific research in the CAO to inform and support policy decisions, however, remains scarce in contrast to an abundance of research in the neighboring North Pacific Ocean. With substantial science and policy challenges occurring in the Arctic, an integrated ecosystem assessment of the CAO is a priority task. PICES joined forces with ICES and PAME for such an assessment by forming the WGICA/WG 39 with its mission period ending 2021. The goals of the Pacific Arctic Gateway activity in the WGICA are to describe the status and trends of ecosystem components in the region and the connection of these parameters to the Central Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Arctic Gateway has experienced rapid environmental change in recent years due to reduced sea ice extent and seawater warming that can impact shelf-basin exchange of water mass components and biological taxa into the offshore Arctic basin. The main objective for the workshop is to describe and discuss ecosystem processes in the Pacific Arctic Gateway and how physical and biological components extend into the CAO, with spatial focus on the outer shelf/slope regions to the basin.

Email W4 Corresponding Convenor
Email W4 Invited Speaker

W6: FIS Topic Workshop
Research priorities for understanding the population dynamics of small pelagic fish in the North Pacific

Date, Time, Duration:
Wed, Oct. 14, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Ryan Rykaczewski (USA), corresponding
Akinori Takasuka (Japan)

Small pelagic fish (SPF) are critical components of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific and in various systems worldwide. These fish are the target of major commercial fisheries that provide necessary diets for the world’s rapidly expanding aquaculture operations. SPF are also vital to the diets of higher predators, playing a role in the transfer of energy and organic matter from zooplankton to higher predators. However, another common characteristic of SPF populations is their high degree of temporal variability, with biomasses that can fluctuate by several orders of magnitude at decadal or multidecadal timescales. These fluctuations have been attributed to changes in climate and ocean properties, shifts in distribution or migration behavior, various ways of interspecific interactions, and variable sensitivity to commercial harvesting. The need for a forum to synthesize new findings and coordinate multidisciplinary research efforts is the motivation for a new joint ICES/PICES working group on SPF. In this workshop, we intend to discuss and prioritize research questions concerning the dynamics of SPF populations in the North Pacific. Participants will be encouraged to highlight key gaps in our understanding and suggest actionable research activities that can be shared with the broader ICES, PICES, and other international communities.

Email W6 Corresponding Convenor

W9: FUTURE Topic Workshop
Building a PICES early career professional network

Date, Time, Duration:
Thu, Oct. 15, 2020
1800-2100 (Sidney, BC, PT)
3 hours

Erin Satterthwaite (USA), corresponding
Aoi Sugimoto (Japan)
Pengbin Wang (China)

For several years, PICES has provided support for the participation of early career scientists in workshops and symposia and has recognized excellence of presentations by early career scientists at its annual meetings. It has been suggested that early career scientists should help PICES play a leading role in the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) by bringing fresh ideas to the next chapter of scientific discovery. This workshop will explore the possibility of formalizing the role of early career scientists in PICES, including strategies for revitalizing communications, outreach, and engagement with other international organizations. We propose a workshop that will bring together the next generation of scientists and mentors to discuss the formalization of a PICES early career scientist study group. This workshop will include a panel and conversation with PICES mentors and a discussion with the community on the engagement and role of ECOPs in PICES.

Background Reading: The Journey to PICES
Scientific Cooperation in the North Pacific
Sara Tjossem

Email W9 Corresponding Convenor