The Nyborg Conference represented a meeting that was devoted to the objective of examining the current understanding of the effects of noise on aquatic organisms (marine mammals to invertebrates). The conference program, almost entirely in plenary, comprised:
- Invited presentations, which dealt with topics on specific themes, notably:
- How animals use sound;
- The detection of sound by aquatic organisms;
- Sources of underwater sound; Anthropogenic sources;
- Effects of anthropogenic sound on aquatic animals;
- and Regulatory issues.
- Poster paper sessions, during which about 100 poster papers were on view, with opportunity to meet and discuss each poster with the author(s). There were also plenary sessions at which select posters were presented and discussed.
- A final wrap-up session with rapporteurs giving feedback on select focus areas, notably:
- Detection and use of sound;
- Effects of sound; and
Delegates were provided with a CD containing abstracts of all the invited presentations and poster papers. It is envisaged that two major publications will emerge from the meeting. The first will be an edited monograph based on the major invited talks. The second will be a series of extended abstracts, to be published in the journal Bioacoustics.
More than 200 people were registered, representing many countries throughout the world. There was a predominance of representatives from Europe and North America with a low presence from regions such as the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Although most of the delegates were from the academic and research sector, there was a good representation from industry (oil and gas), government, non-government and consultant sectors. Canada was well-represented with 26 persons attending, 14 of whom are situated in the Atlantic Provinces.
In general, the Nyborg conference achieved most of its objectives, and can be regarded as being extremely successful. On the basis of what was observed at the conference, some thoughts and impressions, relevant to the emerging OEER invertebrate program, are given. These relate to
- The importance of noise as a regulatory issue
- The relative global priority and activity in invertebrate research
- The value of gaining experience from traditional research activity on other organisms
- A research framework for the OEER invertebrate research program
- The complexity of conducting meaningful and transferable field experiments
- The relative high level of invertebrate research experience in Atlantic Canada
- The value of networking Issues raised by some of the Canadian conference participants.