First Mares Conference Marine Ecosystems Health and Conservation

Країна: Португалія

Місто: Olhão

Тези до: 01.06.2014

Дати: 17.11.14 — 21.11.14

Е-мейл Оргкомітету: maresconference@ugent.be

Організатори: Ghent University Marine Biology Research Group

 

Marine environments are generally considered as highly valuable and their health and conservation status are seen as top priorities. Marine wildlife and habitats are facing multiple anthropogenic threats ranging from eutrophication to overfishing and ocean acidification. There is an urgent need to advance our understanding of the menaces on the marine environment and to provide constructive guidelines for management strategies. The first Mares Conference will take place in this context, aiming to address the main issues dealing with both marine ecosystems health and conservation.

Through six leading themes, this international and open conference will bring together scientists from different levels and disciplines to discuss and address issues about the impact of humans activities on the natural marine environment. The conference will be dynamic, innovative and participative, mixing oral presentations, round table discussions, science café and posters/ digital objects sessions.

The small-scale, relax and multigenerational nature of this event will ease knowledge exchanges, networking and building of new collaborations.

The conference will be hosted in Olhão, eastern Algarve, Portugal. Olhão is located at the edge of the natural park Ria Formosa. The town originated from fishing activity and has still an important artisanal fishery activity, together with tourism.

Aim of the Conference

The Mares Conference is an international and open conference that will bring together scientists from different levels and disciplines to discuss and address issues about marine ecosystems health and conservation.

The conference aims to be;

  • Dynamic, mixing oral presentations, round table discussions and posters /digital objects sessions to maximize interactions through the attendees and speakers.

  • Innovative, promoting digital media as main intermediate for scientific communication.

  • Participative, attendees’ inputs will be encouraged in order to add value and interaction during the conference. Before the conference, attendees have the opportunity to ask a scientific question they would like to elucidate during the Science Café Session with the help of other researchers and experts. This session will take place at the end of the conference and will be the culminant point for interaction and discussion around hot conservation topics (more information coming soon). During the digital objects session, attendees will be able to directly act on tablets and media screens. Moreover, public voting will contribute to determine the winner of the digital object contest.

  • Interactive, giving an excellent opportunity for networking. The conference should bring around 250 attendees, fostering discussion and interaction with experts in a relaxed atmosphere during dedicated time for networking.

  • Multigenerational. The target audience will be as broad as possible, from young scientists to senior researchers. Oral presentation schedule will be designed taking account of the speaker experience and will attempt to bring for each thematic session several PhD students, Post-Docs and experts together. And this, in order to give the opportunity to everybody to present and gain insight into both young  and innovative ideas and mature wisdom on a certain topic.

Themes of the Conference

Marine environments are generally considered as highly valuable and their health and conservation status are seen as top priorities. Marine wildlife and habitats are facing multiple threats ranging from eutrophication to overfishing and ocean acidification and all of these directly or indirectly affect the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.

The Mares Conference aims to address the main issues of marine ecosystems health and conservation. Six thematic subjects will be developed, these six themes are the ones developed by the MARES doctoral candidates :

1. Future Oceans : temperature changes - hypoxia - acidification

Temperature rise, ocean acidification and expanding hypoxic zones, related to anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide and climate changes, impact significantly marine ecosystems health.Marine organisms responses towards climate change can be various and drastic (eg. changes in distribution range, regime shifts, etc.), and could propagate through the entire marine food chain.

2. Understanding biodiversity effects on the functioning of marine ecosystems

The current biodiversity decline, primarily caused by human activities, has serious consequences on the goods and services provided by the marine ecosystems. There is a real need to understand the mechanisms that underlie the observed relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

3. Biological invasions

Due to globalization, intentional or non-intentional introductions of marine species have contributed to the outbreak of invasive alien species having adverse effects on the receiving ecosystems. A new systematic approach is required to assess the key descriptors of biological invasions and to identify effective management actions.

4. Natural Resources : overexploitation, fisheries and aquaculture

The steady increase of world fish catches leads to the overexploitation of the majority of marine stocks and affects drastically marine ecosystem resilience. To meet the growing demand for marine commercial products, aquaculture practices have intensified and often cause destructive effects on the surrounding marine environment. In order to implement efficient management measures, a good understanding of fisheries and aquaculture interactions with the environment is needed.

5. Ocean noise pollution

Due to expansion of underwater human activities, anthropogenic sources of noise are increasing. Noise pollution can induce chronic and acute impacts on marine organisms. Bioacoustics methods appear to be valuable tools in impact assessment and conservation management.

6.Habitat loss, urban development, coastal infrastructures and Marine Spatial Planning

Coastal seas are altered and shoreline habitats are converted for urban development as a result of pressure from growing human populations. Even if urban ecology has not been as much a focus of marine science and management, there is now a rising interest in Marine Spatial Planning as a tool to manage the uses of marine systems.

Веб-сторінка конференції: http://www.maresconference.eu/