17 November

The dawn of the robotic exploration of our planet ocean

Jack Barth (USA), Moderator
Speakers: Breck Owens (USA), Jim Bellingham (USA), Vincent Rigaud (France), Joaquin Tintoré (Spain) 

As oceanographic sensors and sampling platforms become ever more sophisticated, automated and robust, there emerges huge potential for the robotic exploration of coastal and ocean waters. Examples include the international Argo float program, the use of underwater gliders, and the development of in situ mini biogeochemical laboratories. At the same time that sensors and platforms are advancing, so too are satellite and underwater communications systems that enable data from robots to be used in near real-time. The goal of this panel is to review the emerging use of robotic systems to advance scientific understanding of our oceans and to preview new technological and scientific advances that will enable even greater exploration.

18 November

The future of large international programmes in support of new ocean science and lessons learned from past programmes

Manuel Barange (UK),  Moderator
Speakers: Liana McManus (Philippines), Martin Visbeck (Germany), Mike Roman (USA), Patricio Bernal (Chile) 

Many of the recent advances in ocean sciences are the result of large-scale, internationally coordinated, research projects (WOCE, JGOFS, GLOBEC, Census of Marine Life, etc.). This trend of associative approaches has opened new opportunities for networking, distributed facilities, inter-disciplinary science, transfer of knowledge and technologies, and particularly, for achieving successful results that are cooperative and collective. This panel will discuss possible new large projects and programs that will emerge in coming years within the framework of Future Earth and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the ways to develop these programs with bottom-up development approaches as well as learning from past successful initiatives.

19 November

The science-policy interface: scientists communicating with decision-makers

Jane Lubchenco (USA), Moderator
Speakers: Alan Simcock (UK), Carol Turley (UK), Niall McDonough (Belgium), David VanderZwaag (Canada) 

Science should matter in ocean policy, but scientists often find that their advice has little impact. The ability to make our science understandable to those who make decisions about ocean management is critical to protecting ocean resources. The active involvement of end users of scientific information, including resource managers, policy-makers, and individual citizens, will enhance the impact and value of our research initiatives. This panel will bring together local organizations and individuals committed to improving ocean science and will compare approaches and success stories from across the globe.

20 November

A paradigm shift for sustainable, productive fisheries:  the need to move from selective fishing to balanced harvesting

Jack Rice (Canada), Moderator
Speakers: Jeppe Kolding (Norway), Gabriela Bianchi (Italy), Qisheng Tang (China)

Selective fishing has been widely encouraged in the belief that non-selective fishing has many adverse impacts such as incidental by-catch. Methods to reduce by-catch by increasing selectivity are implemented in many fisheries. However, recent research suggests  that size-at-entry regulations in fisheries cause major disruption to marine ecosystems, including truncation of age- and size-structures, destabilization of fish stocks, directional selection on phenotypic traits and a by-catch of unwanted species and sizes. Balanced harvesting across a range of species, stocks, and sizes in proportion to their productivity could mitigate adverse effects and address food security better than increased selectivity. The objectives of this session are to explore the ecological benefits of balanced harvesting using empirical and modelling approaches and to investigate ways to overcome the social, governing, economic, and cultural challenges related to the balanced harvesting.

21 November

Biodiversity, conservation and the interface with human need and greed

Peter Neill (USA), Moderator
Speakers: Joachim Claudet (France), Mark Costello (New Zealand), Simonetta Fraschetti (Italy), Patricia Miloslavicch (Venezuela) 

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by 168 signatories in 1993. In 2010, The Conference of the Parties to CBD adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, for 2011-2020.  The objective of this panel is to focus specifically on the marine biodiversity targets, to question how likely we are to meet those targets and to ask what more needs to be done and how.