PICES has no formal mechanism to exchange information or provide advice on issues related to biodiversity in the North Pacific despite recent requests to do so from both the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and World Ocean Assessment (WOA) in 2013. Marine biodiversity is important for maintaining ecosystem structure and function, which in turn supports sustainable fisheries. Understanding drivers of biodiversity change (e.g., non-indigenous marine species, climate change, eutrophication, fishing, pollution, etc.) and their interactions can help inform decisions related to ecosystem-based management that balance multiple objectives. Other intergovernmental organizations recognize the need to advance research focussed on biodiversity. These include the Strategic Initiative on Biodiversity (SIBAS) within the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and the Medium-Term Strategy within the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP). In addition, the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC) which includes all PICES member countries is in the process of ratifying a new convention on marine conservation. This convention will require member countries to study, conserve and manage vulnerable components of marine biodiversity in international waters of the North Pacific Ocean. Thus, PICES, as a science organization, is well positioned to take a leadership role in facilitating the collaborative science needed to address biodiversity priorities in the North Pacific Ocean and to partner with other international organizations, such as ICES, NOWPAP, FAO, CBD, and NPFC.
PICES Sci. Rep. No. 49, 2015
Report of the Study Group on Biodiversity Conservation