From 17-21 June, partners in Work Package 1 of the CoArc project attended the IMBeR Future Oceans 2 conference in Brest, France. WP co-leaders Alida Bundy (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and Paul Renaud, along with Mariano Koen-Alonso (also from DFO Canada) organized the largest session in the 5 day conference. CoArc itself presented 7 talks and 2 posters that used a variety of modeling approaches to describe the structure and dynamics of the Barents Sea and Newfoundland (Canada) shelf ecosystems. Both systems were dominated by Atlantic cod until the mid 1980s when many fish stocks crashed in both areas. Since then, the regions have followed very different trajectories, and reasons for this are investigated in this WP of CoArc.
Following the conference, WP1 scientists remained in Brest for a 3-day project workshop to finalize approaches for summary papers and to discuss production of a special issue highlighting these results. There are already 4 published papers directly from this project, including work on species-distribution modelling, biological-traits analysis, and resilience assessment. “CoArc gives us a unique opportunity to compare the Barents Sea and Newfoundland shelf ecosystems with respect to species composition, functional ecology and sensitivity to disturbance”, says Magnus Aune, who has a leading role in WP1.
The project CoArc “A transatlantic innovation arena for sustainable development in the Arctic” is funded bythe Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ grant scheme Arctic 2030. The project period is 2016-2020.
Akvaplan-niva in Tromsø is leading the project and Kjetil Sagerup is the project manager. The partners in the project are UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the Institute of Marine Research, International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) and Fisheries and Ocean Canada. Statoil is an industrial partner in the project.
The background for CoArc is that Norway and other Arctic countries in the North Atlantic have considerable natural resources in their ocean areas in the form of fisheries and petroleum deposits. It is of great importance to gain access to and develop these resources in a sustainable way so that the Arctic region’s unique characteristics are maintained. To solve this challenge, innovative approaches and international cooperation are required.
The project will contribute to developing future-oriented and cost-effective solutions for environmental monitoring and risk assessments of offshore operations in the northers seas with emphasis on the development of decision-support tools for improved environmental management. The foundation of CoArc is high-quality research coupled with innovation activities.