ICES International Symposium on Recruitment Dynamics of Exploited Marine Populations: Physical-Biological Interactions

Baltimore, Maryland USA
22-24 September, 1997

Objectives and Scope

The interplay between environmental variation and population regulation controls the dynamics of marine populations. The principal objective of this Symposium is to explore the biotic and abiotic determinants of recruitment variability. Our focus is on higher trophic levels encompassing fish, macroinvertebrate, and marine mammal populations. We encourage interdisciplinary contributions on the role of physical and trophic processes in recruitment dynamics. We welcome descriptions of new technological advances, methodologies, and analytical approaches and solicit contributions examining the problem of recruitment processes along a continuum of spatial and temporal scales.

Over a quarter of a century has now passed since ICES sponsored the highly influential symposium, Fish Stocks and Recruitment, in Aarhus Denmark in 1970. We seek to provide an overview of progress in understanding recruitment processes since this landmark meeting. The Symposium is dedicated to the memory of Professor R. J. H. Beverton, colleague, mentor, and friend to the ICES community.


Contributions are encouraged in, but not limited to, the following research areas:

Trophodynamics and Recruitment Success. We solicit contributions on the role of physical processes and hydrographic structures (e.g. turbulence, fronts, stratification) in relation to demographic rates and processes. Contributions which examine the importance of physical features relative to tradeoffs between growth and risk of predation are welcomed. We encourage contributions on the role of predation mortality in controlling year class success, field and laboratory studies of predation processes in marine systems, and the development of recruitment models incorporating predation effects.

Physical Transport, Retention, and Loss. Transport and dispersal mechanisms are hypothesized to have a profound influence on survival rates and population structure in the sea. We seek studies of the importance of retention and loss on early life stage dynamics. We encourage contributions on the role of mesoscale hydrographic features in recruitment processes including the specificity of spawning times and locations and transport to suitable nursery locations from spawning sites.

Climate Variability and Recruitment Processes. Documentation of causal factors underlying regime shifts in the marine environment is essential. Studies of synchrony in recruitment among different taxa or populations within species on large spatial scales have provided important insights into recruitment processes. We seek contributions which provide a broad-scale context for understanding recruitment variability and the implications of longer-term shifts in environmental conditions as a guide to possible effects of climate change on marine populations.

Population Regulation and Environmental Variability. The resilience of populations to exploitation is critically dependent on compensatory processes. Compensation can dampen the effects of environmentally-induced variability in recruitment. We seek contributions examining compensatory mechanisms at one or more life history stages, stock-recruitment models with environmental inputs, and analyses of interactions between environmental variability and internal regulatory mechanisms.

Life History Strategies in Variable Environments. Marine populations exhibit a diverse array of life history strategies in response to environmental variability. We encourage contributions examining fundamental life history characteristics in relation to recruitment processes. Examples of life history characteristics in relation to variable marine environments, comparative studies of life history traits across taxa, and the implications of different life history strategies in relation to anthropogenic perturbations.

Symposium Structure

The Symposium will feature invited presentations providing overviews of key issues in understanding the linkages between environmental variability and population dynamics. Contributed papers will be presented in sessions addressing principal topics; posters will be displayed throughout the Symposium. A session devoted to synthesis and discussion of the principal themes of the Symposium will conclude the meeting. Our objective throughout is to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to understanding recruitment processes. The official language of the symposium will be English.


The Symposium proceedings will be published as a special issue of the ICES Journal of Marine Science. Invited and contributed papers, including poster presentations, will be considered for publication following peer review. Copies of the proceedings volume will be sent to Symposium participants.

Date and Venue

The Symposium will be held September 22-24, 1997, on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA


The Symposium is open to all scientists and students with interest in the interaction between marine environmental processes and recruitment dynamics. Requests for information should be directed to Dr. Fogarty. Contributors to the Symposium are requested to submit titles of their presentations with abstracts of 250 words or less to Dr. Fogarty by 1 March 1997. Due to time constraints, the number of papers that can be accepted for oral presentation will be limited. Authors of the contributions accepted by the Scientific Steering Committee for presentation will be notified by 1 May, 1997 and will receive instructions concerning the coding, format, and mailing of the work to be submitted. The registration form should be returned by 1 July, 1997 with the registration fee (see below). Final abstracts of 250 words or less will be due by 1 August 1997 for inclusion in a volume of collected abstracts to be distributed before the symposium. Written papers will be due by 1 September 1997. (Posters should be brought to the Symposium, ready for display on the opening day). The registration fee is US $75.00 (US $25.00 for students); it will include the cost of the Symposium proceedings, lunches, and other incidentals but not accommodation.

Important Dates

1 March 1997Abstracts of all contributions
1 May 1997Notification of acceptance
1 August 1997Final Abstract for Distribution
1 September 1997Written Paper

Symposium Co-sponsors

Co-sponsors of this symposium are: Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, North Pacific Marine Science Organization, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, GLOBEC International, US National Science Foundation, US Office of Naval Research, US National Marine Fisheries Service, US GLOBEC, GLOBEC Canada, The Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland System Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies.

Scientific Steering Committee

Co-Conveners for the meeting are:

Dr. M. J. Fogarty, The University of Maryland System Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, P.O. Box 38, Solomons, MD, 20688 USA (

Mr. H. Loeng, Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870 Nordnes, 5024 Bergen, Norway (

Prof. T. R. Osborn, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA (

Prof. J. G. Shepherd, Southhampton Oceanography Centre, Southhampton University, Highfield, Southhampton 509 5NH U.K. (j.g.shepherd@

The Scientific Advisory Committee for the symposium consists of:

Dr. R. R. Dickson, Fisheries Laboratory, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 OHT U.K. (

Dr. R. A. Myers, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Science Branch P.O Box 5667, St Johns, Newfoundland A1C 5X1 Canada (

Prof. T. M. Powell, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA (

Prof. B. J. Rothschild, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747 USA (

Dr. D. M. Ware, Pacific Biological Station, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5K6 Canada (