Since its establishment, PICES has provided leadership in developing a better understanding of the structure, function and changes of North Pacific marine ecosystems. The integrative scientific programs of PICES, and other special activities such as periodic Ecosystem Status Reports, have advanced our knowledge of coupled physical-biogeochemical-ecological processes of the North Pacific. The Forecasting and Understanding Trends, Uncertainty and Responses of North Pacific Marine Ecosystems (FUTURE) program is focusing on acquiring better insight into the combined consequences of climate change and anthropogenic pressures on marine ecosystems, ecosystem services and marine dependent social systems. Climate change research remains important to ocean scientists and governments within PICES. However, the direct and indirect interactions of human activities on coastal and open ocean ecosystems and the services they provide to society are also of great concern in the North Pacific area. A sustainable North Pacific ecosystem is desired by both the public and governments. This vision seeks a balance between resource protection and resource utilization, and a balance between pressing needs at local and regional scales and climate-driven issues at basin and global ocean scales. The nature of the Science Board symposium theme allows for scientific sessions to include topics on climate change, ocean acidification, coastal eutrophication, aquaculture, fishing, pollution, coastal development and planning, sustainability, resilience, vulnerability, cumulative impacts of multiple stressors, and the tradeoffs/conflicts inherent in multiple-use ocean activities, and mechanisms to resolve these. Presentations on the above topics and the relationship and compatibility of marine resource development, eco-environment sustainability, protection and restoration are welcomed for this session.
Major El Niño events in 1982/83 and 1997/98 had massive impacts on the ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. In spring 2014, computer models were predicting another major El Niño for 2014/15. However, it now appears that the event is weakening (but who knows what the future holds). Despite this, it is perhaps more noteworthy that the entire Pacific north of ~35°N is anomalously warm with SSTs in the Gulf of Alaska that are >4σ above the long-term mean. This warming event appears to be unprecedented, with strong signals in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, and across the Pacific to Japan, as well as in the Oyashio, the Sea of Okhotsk and coastal waters surrounding Russia, Japan and Korea. Anomalous warming is also seen in the Arctic Ocean, Baffin Bay, the Labrador Sea and much of the far north Atlantic. Key questions to address in this session include what are the atmospheric conditions leading to wide-spread warming, what are the consequences for local weather, and, what are the consequences to ecosystem structure and fisheries? The purpose of this session is to encourage researchers to present evidence of anomalous behaviour in the ecosystems of the North Pacific. We are interested in descriptions of anomalous behaviour in the physical environment, the chemistry of the oceans and the biological impacts of the physical anomalies. The session will be a success if investigators with related stories are brought together to write joint papers describing the evolution and impacts of both the 2014/15 El Niño event as well as anomalous warming of the North Pacific (and perhaps the North Atlantic and adjacent seas).
FUTURE endeavors to develop a better understanding of the combined consequences of climate change and anthropogenic pressures on marine ecosystems, ecosystem services and marine-dependent social systems. Although climate change has garnered much deserved attention so far, the direct and indirect interactions of human society on marine ecosystems and the services they provide are also of great concern. Fisheries are major contributors to global food security, while also posing threats to some ecosystem services. Rising demand for seafood and increasing concerns about the ecosystem effects of fishing create a fisheries management dilemma. Improved understanding about how human activities alter marine ecosystem structure and function is central to exploring options to procure food security in the future. In North America and Europe, emphasis is placed on conservative catch limits for fisheries that are highly selective for large-sizes of certain species. In Asia, a wide spectrum of fish species and sizes enter seafood markets, and less emphasis is placed on constraining catches. Both approaches affect ecosystem structure and functioning. By comparing approaches, can East and West learn from each other? Although questions about how to increase fisheries production while reducing environment impacts are not new, new ideas have entered the debate. For example, “balanced exploitation” advocates sustainable removal levels that strive to maintain natural balance among species, stocks, sexes, and sizes, thus preserving biodiversity. Yet, fisheries are commercial enterprises that must supply consumers with seafood at a profit. Also, fishing represents a diversity of lifestyles that span small-scale, artisanal fishers to large multinational corporations. This topic session provides a forum to compare and contrast alternative fishing strategies for sustainable global food security. Presentations are sought on the effects of fishing on ecosystem structure and function, cultural practices and institutional programs to manage bycatch and discards, better utilization of fishery resources, diversification of seafood products and markets, economic considerations, and many facets of human dimensions. Seafood industry representatives from Eastern and Western cultures will be invited to contribute their perspectives. Email your questions to Session 3 Convenors
Email your questions to Session 3 Invited Speakers
S4: MEQ Topic Session (1-day)
Indicators of emerging pollution issues in the North Pacific Ocean
Co-sponsor: Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)
Peter S. Ross (Canada)
Olga Lukyanova (Russia)
This session led by the Working Group on Emerging Topics in Marine Pollution (WG-ETMP) anticipates wide-ranging interest from a number of disciplines. The session aims to attract presentations on the use of sediments, shellfish, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals as indicators of marine pollution. Novel approaches and study designs will be discussed, with the aim of providing managers, regulators and scientists with timely feedback on emerging pollution threats. Depending on the study design and sample matrix, it is expected that pollutants to be discussed will include hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides, flame retardant chemicals, metals, pharmaceuticals, microplastics and other contaminants. Presentations that provide insight into the identification of contaminants of emerging concern, the ranking of priority pollutants from multiple sources, and the assessment of the relative importance of pollutants among other natural and anthropogenic stressors are encouraged. Presenters will be invited to contribute to a special issue of a scientific journal.
The ocean circulation system of the Western Pacific is complex. The Mindanao Current and the Kuroshio originate from the North Equatorial Current, and the Indonesia Throughflow connects the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The region is characterized by the strongest atmospheric convection and greatest frequency of typhoons anywhere in the world. The ocean circulation of the Western Pacific carries heat from low latitude to high latitude areas where it is released to the atmosphere, adjusting the global air temperature. Meanwhile, processes in this region play a key role in the formation and evolution of the Western Pacific Warm Pool, and have an important effect on the global climate system. The ocean circulation and Warm Pool in the Western Pacific play an important role in regulating the ENSO cycle, the East Asian Monsoon and Subtropical High, and have a significant effect on the marine environment and regional climate in East Asian marginal seas. This session will focus on the North Equatorial Current bifurcation, Mindanao Current, the Indonesian Throughflow, and the Kuroshio and its interaction with the coastal circulation, and will focus on their response to climate change, feedback process and its mechanism.
Invited Speakers: Richard Bellerby (SKLEC-NIVA Centre for Marine and Coastal Climate Research, East China Normal University, China) Richard Feely (NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, USA) Kunshan Gao (Xiamen University, China) Ja-Myung Kim (Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea)
Ocean acidification (OA) in the 21st century has reached levels not seen for 55 million years. The average surface pH of the world ocean has decreased by 0.1 since the industrial revolution and is projected to decrease 0.3 to 0.4 pH by the end of this century, an up to 2.5 times increase in ocean acidity. Due to its cold water temperature, low alkalinity and rapid loss of sea-ice, the subarctic Pacific Ocean and adjacent Arctic Ocean have absorbed large amounts of atmospheric CO2 and have changed the CaCO3 system so that aragonite unsaturated states have appeared or will appear soon on a large scale. OA in the subarctic Pacific Ocean will greatly change the marine chemical environment with far-reaching effect on marine ecosystems. This session will include a review of observations and research on OA and will consider the potential for development of an OA observation network. Main discussion issues are 1) advances in investigations and research in OA in the North Pacific and adjacent areas of the Arctic Ocean, 2) the role of the North Pacific and the Pacific Arctic regions in GOA-ON (Global Ocean Acidification Observation Networks) and AMAP-AOA (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program-Arctic Ocean Acidification) and 3) the exchange of data and involvement of early career scientists interested in OA.
S7: POC/BIO/TCODE Topic Session (1-day)
Past, present, and future climate in the North Pacific Ocean: Updates of our understanding since IPCC AR5
Chan Joo Jang (Korea)
Ho-Jeong Shin (Korea)
Zhenya Song (China)
Sukgeun Jung (Korea)
Anne Hollowed (USA)
Kyung-Il Chang (Korea)
Angelica Peña (Canada)
Shin-ichi Ito (Japan)
Invited Speakers: Jacquelynne R. King (Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada) Shoshiro Minobe (Hokkaido University, Japan) Yongqiang Yu (State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, China)
Climate has been changing and is highly likely to have been influenced by human activities. These changes, which have greatly affected the Earth’s environment, have been manifested in oceanic ecosystems. Social demands for information on future projections are increasing the need to adapt to and mitigate climate change. The objective of this session is to update our understanding since IPCC AR5 on the past, present and future climate for the North Pacific Ocean and its marine ecosystems, focusing particularly on climatic change in ecosystem-relevant upper ocean and atmospheric variables. Climate change and its impact have been widely investigated using global climate models, while adaptation and mitigation issues have been studied using mostly regional climate models. While this session invites papers on various topics related to both climate simulations and observations, we also encourage presentations on the development and results of regional climate models (RCMs) and Earth System Models (ESMs), and assessment of hindcast simulations and their application to the projection of future climate or marine ecosystems using coupled general circulation models (CGCMs) in the North Pacific Ocean. Future projections of the North Pacific Ocean and its ecosystems, as obtained from global climate models (including CMIP5 standard experiment data for comparison with RCM results) will also be an important contribution to this session.
Marine ecosystem services (MES) are benefits people obtain from the seas and oceans. Marine ecosystems provide ecological products and services, such as seafood, regulation of climate, reduction of storm disasters, waste purification, recreation and leisure, and biodiversity maintenance. Assessing the value of MES has become an emerging and somewhat challenging subject in the scientific world and is receiving increasing attention from politicians. The United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports published in 2005 focused on discovering changes in global ecosystem status and services. The ongoing World Ocean Assessment program has an urgent need for knowledge on MES. The United Nations Environmental Program formed the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in 2012. The IPBES aims to develop and use knowledge on ecosystem services and biodiversity to improve national, regional, and global ecosystem management. The goals of this session are: (1) to provide marine scientists, economists, and ecologists with a venue to exchange results from research on MES, on the economics of marine ecological resources, and on the contribution of the marine environment to the marine and coastal economy, and (2) to provide scientists around the North Pacific a chance to discuss collaboration on scientific projects.
The fisheries management for a shared/transboundary stock—a stock that straddles jurisdictional boundaries—is a complex balancing act that will become even more challenging as the distribution of stocks shift in response to climate change. Some of these stocks may only involve users with different interests within a single jurisdiction. Other stocks may involve users from different jurisdictions within a nation, or users from many nations. Achieving conservation objectives for shared/transboundary stocks will require adoption of management regimes that consider biological, economic, and social criteria and elicit effective cooperation among groups. The objective of this session is to gather empirical studies involved with shared/transboundary stock management and to discuss the experiences, challenges, lessons learned, and decision-making processes that lead to successful management.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) comprise a spectrum of ecological, economic, and human health impacts. High biomass phytoplankton blooms in coastal and shelf waters, most often stemming from anthropogenic inputs of macronutrients, can massively shift ecosystem structure away from the support of higher trophic levels, lead to hypoxia and associated ecological impacts in deep waters, and thereby dramatically affect the human dimension. Smaller biomass blooms of toxic cells can selectively impair ecosystem components, decimate aquaculture industry success, or substantially impact human health. In some instances there are clear effects from direct human activity on HAB development; in others the oceanographic conditions regulate the success of harmful species. Despite the obvious relationship between HABs and human wellness, there has been little formalized linkage between ecological and human wellness research. This topic session is aimed at initiating this linkage by stimulating the cross-thinking needed to better assess human-HAB interactions. Presentations are invited on the distributions and character of HAB events, particularly for PICES member countries and their national interests, and the potential social-economic consequences of these societally-defined (harmful) algal bloom events. This session will provide the foundation for more coordinated efforts between the HAB and Human Dimension Sections to generate inputs useful to Ecosystem Based Management activities, and to guide goals for the FUTURE program.
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 all papers on biological aspects of marine science in the PICES region. Contributions from early career scientists are especially encouraged.
Xianshi Jin (China) Elizabeth Logerwell (USA)
This session invites papers addressing general topics in fishery science and fisheries oceanography in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by Topic Sessions sponsored by the Fishery Science Committee (FIS). Email your questions to FIS
Paper Session Convenors
Chuanlin Huo (China)
Darlene Smith (Canada)
Papers are invited on all aspects of marine environmental quality research in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by Topic Sessions sponsored by the Marine Environmental Quality Committee (MEQ).
Email your questions to MEQ
Paper Session Convenors
Kyung-Il Chang (Korea) Michael Foreman (Canada)
Papers are invited on all aspects of physical oceanography and climate in the North Pacific and its marginal seas, except those covered by Topic Sessions sponsored by the Physical Oceanography and Climate Committee (POC).
Email your questions to POC
Paper Session Convenors
W1: Workshop (1½-day)
Contrasting conditions for success of fish-killing flagellates in the western and eastern Pacific — A comparative ecosystem approach
Co-sponsor: Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)
Douding Lu (China)
Vera Trainer (USA)
There is clear evidence of contrasting occurrence and impacts of fish-killing fish-kill flagellates between the western and eastern Pacific in the comprehensive dataset (2000–2012) assembled during the PICES-2012 workshop on contrasting HABs in PICES member countries. These data provide a unique opportunity for east–west Pacific comparisons to identify and rank those environmental factors that promote HAB success at different times. This workshop will focus on the fish killing species- Heterosigma akashiwo, Cochlodinium and Chattonella and ribotypes—organisms that historically have had massive economic impacts in western PICES member countries, as well as increasingly prevalent impacts in eastern Pacific coastal waters. 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 on day 1, and develop a detailed outline for manuscript preparation on day 2, including writing assignments and submission deadlines. The manuscript will be targeted for an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.
Identifying major threats to marine biodiversity and ecosystems in the North Pacific
Co-sponsor: Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)
Takafumi Yoshida (Japan/NOWPAP)
Chris Rooper (USA)
Invited Speakers: Malcolm Clark (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research,
Wellington, New Zealand) Noriaki Sakaguchi (IPBES Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment, IGES Tokyo Office, Japan/NOWPAP)
Marine ecosystems in the North Pacific are influenced by multiple emerging threats, such as rising sea temperature, harmful algal blooms, marine invasive species, hypoxia and eutrophication. These multiple threats can act synergistically, but perhaps differently, from region to region to change ecosystem structure, function and dynamics. In order to enhance conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific region, it is essential to identify critical threats to them. This will require consultation across PICES and NOWPAP member countries to collect extensive information covering potential main threats. Recently, PICES’ Working Group 21 reported on the status of non-indigenous aquatic species in the North Pacific region. That report is complemented by additional studies to identify and characterize ecosystem responses to multiple stressors through Working Group 28. CEARAC, one of the four Regional Activity Centres of NOWPAP, recently launched a project to assess the impact of major threats to marine biodiversity in the western North Pacific. A goal of this activity is to select appropriate indicators for marine biodiversity conservation and develop marine environment assessment methodology for the future. This workshop will discuss common assessment indicators to understand the status of major pressures/stressors/threats to marine biodiversity and to identify future collaborations between PICES and NOWPAP. The workshop will contribute to understanding of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific by selecting candidate indicators for investigating their status in the North Pacific. The output from the workshop will also contribute to FUTURE activities.
The North Pacific and its marginal seas encompass diverse environments under different influences of climate change and anthropogenic impacts. As a result, these ecosystems exhibit a wide range of characteristics. For example, the primary productivity of North Pacific ecosystems ranges from an extreme oligotrophic to hyper-eutrophic state. Various nutrient limitation conditions can be found as exemplified by the subarctic region, one of the major HNLC regions in the world ocean. While ecosystem regime shifts were first identified in the North Pacific, the change in the primary producer level has not been thoroughly compared and studied in relation to regime shifts. In this workshop, we will review the current understanding of the long-term dynamics and distributional differences of primary producers in the North Pacific. We will also review the factors that determine the primary productivity in different ecosystems of the North Pacific. Differential responses by functional groups will be discussed. Finally, gaps will be identified in using primary producers as a linking element in end-to-end modeling, which is an important component of the FUTURE program.
In recent years, the importance of marine environmental emergency issues has been illustrated by oil and chemical spills, as well as by a major nuclear power plant accident. Globalization of markets has led to rapid growth of maritime transport in the North Pacific, which has become more vulnerable to ship-source incidents, including oil and hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) spills. Oil and HNS spills may be hazardous to human health, harm living resources and marine life, and can damage amenities or interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea. In 2003, the NOWPAP Regional Oil and HNS Spill Contingency Plan (RCP) provided technical and operational guidelines for regional cooperation in responding to oil and HNS spills. Marine environmental emergency issues and their strategies become an increasingly important topic for PICES member countries. However, accepted scientific and monitoring methods to document the ecological impacts of such emergencies, and post-accident recovery of the environment, are lacking. In order to better understand the interaction between the marine ecosystem and human pressures, and to formulate sustainable marine development strategies more effectively, an applied information sharing workshop for PICES is timely. The workshop on marine environmental emergencies has three objectives. The first is to summarize important examples of North Pacific marine environmental emergencies from the perspective of different nations, and to discuss the different approaches taken by PICES member countries. The second is to develop response strategies and capacities of PICES members in light of environmental emergencies. The third is to develop joint strategies to improve responsiveness and effectiveness of current national approaches to manage and mitigate such emergencies in the PICES region. The workshop will address the following three aspects: (1) oil and chemical spills and their damage on the marine environment, (2) detection methods for oil and chemical spills and (3) spill response, monitoring and mitigation strategies at the interface of science and management. Case studies will be used to illustrate this workshop and will serve to focus efforts to design a response and monitoring framework for implementation in the event of a major environmental emergency.
The Marine Environmental Quality Committee’s area of responsibility is to promote and coordinate marine environmental quality and interdisciplinary research in the North Pacific. This workshop has three objectives: 1. To coordinate with external expert groups, 2. To review the situation and to discuss the information gaps and deficiencies in monitoring and assessment of the Environmental Quality of Radioactivity and its impact on marine ecosystems in the North Pacific, especially since the “3·11” Fukushima Nuclear Accident, and 3. To exchange information on new techniques and methodologies for monitoring and assessment of the environmental quality of radioactivity in the marine environment, and to discuss development trends and research priorities. The main topics of the workshop include: 1. the current situation of environmental quality of radioactivity and its effect on marine ecosystems in the North Pacific, 2. new techniques for the analysis of radionuclides in the marine environment and 3. assessment of the radiological risk to non-human species. The workshop will invite experts in relevant fields, and welcome reports on research and progress in the above topics with regard to the monitoring and assessment on the marine environmental quality of radioactivity in the North Pacific.
W6: Workshop (1-day) Best practices for and scientific progress from North Pacific Coastal Ocean Observing Systems
Sung Yong Kim (Korea)
Jack Barth (USA)
Tony Koslow (USA)
Invited Speakers: David M. Checkley, Jr. (Scripps California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations,
CalCOFI, USA) Daji Huang (Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, China) Song Sun (Institute of Oceanology, Qingdao, China)
The collection of time series of high-quality physical, chemical and biological data from coastal ocean observatories is critical to the PICES science mission. Coastal ocean observing data are important for documenting changes in coastal ocean ecosystems and for driving numerical circulation and biogeochemical models. There is broad agreement that the ‘operators’ of coastal observing systems around the North Pacific would benefit from developing best practices – basically sharing experiences on what works and what does not work. At the same time, there have been significant advances in scientific understanding using coastal ocean observing systems. In recent years and in the near future, there has been a big increase in the number of permanent coastal ocean observing systems around the North Pacific. These observatories include shore-based instrumentation, very shallow installations near the coast and in semi-enclosed bays, as well as observatories that span from the coast to full ocean depth. We seek contributions that illustrate the growing number of coastal ocean observatories across the PICES member countries. Examples of topics to be considered for ‘best practices’ for coastal ocean observing systems include: