The first meeting of this new Working Group took place from 31 March to 3 April 2014. It was hosted by AZTI in Pasajes, Spain. There were 9 attendees, 6 from the United Kingdom and one from Ireland, Spain and Portugal respectively. For the Group to deliver advice that has impact, and is truly representative of the ICES community, it will require representation from a larger number of ICES member countries. Improved representation through communicating the work of the Group throughout the ICES community is needed. It is hoped that the first topic based Workshop will assist in this regard.
The Group agreed that the first topic based Workshop would focus on methodological requirements to inform cumulative assessments of the effects of both climate change and marine renewable energy upon populations of marine predators afforded species protection (e.g. under the Birds and Habitats Directives). Climate change is considered to be likely have a dominant effect upon several populations of marine predators, making it highly relevant for any cumulative impact assessments. The workshop will address the methodological basis for:
- analysis of relatively small scale datasets over large spatial scales (clus-tered data);
- the spatial and temporal scales of analysis;
- ecosystem level food web interactions and the likelihood of change;
- quantifying the risk of change to populations of marine predators of con-servation value, and the associated uncertainties;
- Providing options for interpreting a modelled framework that enables regulators to account for risk, depending upon societal acceptance of risk of change and the associated uncertainties.
A flyer for the Workshop, which is scheduled to take place in autumn 2015 will be produced by August 2014. The flyer will also promote attendance at the next Working Group meeting, taking place from 31 March to 2 April in Swansea, Wales, UK, where detailed planning of the Workshop will occur.
The Working Group also agreed the approach and format for providing annual updates that report on new science that has utility in the context of regulating the potential environmental impacts of marine renewable energy.