Marine Science Organizations
NOAA Fisheries collaborates with a variety of international marine science organizations. These groups provide a venue for fishery scientists to collaborate.
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is an intergovernmental marine science organization, meeting societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas and oceans. The goal of ICES is to advance and share scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and the services they provide and to use this knowledge to provide advice for meeting conservation, management, and sustainability goals. ICES is a network of more than 5,000 scientists from over 700 marine institutes in 20 member countries and beyond. 1,500 scientists participate in our activities annually. Through strategic partnerships, ICES works in the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the North Pacific Ocean.
ICES formed in 1902 and the United States joined in 1912. Historically, ICES activities were focused on fisheries, but current ICES activities are much broader and include aquaculture, ecosystem observations, ecosystem processes and dynamics, fisheries, and human interactions. ICES also supports strategic initiatives on climate change effects on marine ecosystems and better understanding human dimensions of marine ecosystems. The ICES Strategic Plan defines the direction and priorities relating to science, data, and advice, and to develop the capacity needed to fulfill this commitment. The ICES Science Plan identifies seven interrelated scientific priorities and how our network will address them. Jon Hare, Science and Research Director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center is the official U.S. representative to ICES, and more than 100 U.S. scientists, both governmental and academic. are involved in ICES activities.
U.S. ICES Permanent Representatives:
- Dr. Jonathan (Jon) A. Hare, Science & Research Director, Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Northeast Fisheries Science Center
- Dr. William A. Karp, Affiliate Professor, University of Washington - First Vice-President of ICES
North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) is an intergovernmental scientific organization created by treaty in 1992 to advance scientific understanding of the North Pacific and adjacent seas. Present members include Canada, People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, and the United States of America. The United States ratified the PICES Convention on December 6, 1991. PICES promotes and coordinates multidisciplinary marine research efforts and facilitates the exchange of scientific and technical information on a broad range of scientific disciplines. The organization provides an international forum to promote greater understanding of the biological and oceanographic processes of the North Pacific Ocean and its role in global environment.
U.S. PICES Permanent Representative:
- Dr. Charles Littnan, Director, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
International Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
The purpose of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programs in research, services and capacity-building, in order to learn more about the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas and to apply that knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, the protection of the marine environment, and the decision-making processes of its member states.
IOC high-level objectives are:
- Healthy ocean ecosystems and sustained ecosystem services
- Effective early warning systems and preparedness for tsunamis and other ocean-related hazards
- Increased resilience to climate change and variability and enhanced safety, efficiency and effectiveness of all ocean-based activities through scientifically-founded services, adaptation and mitigation strategies
- Enhanced knowledge of emerging ocean science issues
The United States played a fundamental role in the creation of the IOC, and has championed the IOC for 60 years, since 1960. The United States has led the development of science, tools and models used in the IOC’s global ocean observing system, World Data Centers, large marine ecosystems, tsunami warning capabilities and much more.