The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) hosted the International Symposium on Drivers of Dynamics of Small Pelagic Fish Resources in Victoria, Canada, from March 6 to 11. PICES is an intergovernmental scientific organization formed to promote coordinated research in the North Pacific seas and adjacent areas.
The main focus of the 2017 symposium was small pelagic fisheries, which includes species such as herring, capelin, anchovy, sardine, and mackerel. Small pelagic fisheries provide about 25% of the world catch and are important for the socio-economic well-being of many coastal societies. The symposium sessions contributed to the goal of revitalizing international cooperation to develop frameworks addressing issues such as the impacts of climate and fishing pressure on small pelagic populations.
Nereus Alumni Rebecca Asch (East Carolina University) and Ryan Rykaczewski (University of South Carolina), and OceanCanada Director and Nereus Research Associate (Honourary) Rashid Sumaila (UBC) presented at the symposium.
Asch presented March 6 on testing the reliability of species distribution models, with a focus on her work in southern California Current ecosystems. Sumaila was a convenor for a session on March 7 on the social-economic aspects of pelagic fisheries, wherein he presented on the effects of subsidies on pelagic fisheries as determined through bio-economic modelling. Rykaczewski delivered a general plenary address for a session on March 8 that focused on environmental drivers of distribution shifts. He spoke on the climate impacts on upwelling and the planktonic prey of anchovy and sardine in eastern boundary currents.