Report of the ICES Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO). 18-20 March 2015 Bergen, Norway

The 2015 meeting of the ICES Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO) was held in Bergen, Norway on18–20 March with Anders Jelmert as host and Henn Ojaveer as chair. Fourteen countries participated in the meeting. At-tendants were from Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithua-nia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. Greece, Ireland, Spain and Denmark contributed by correspondence. The meeting was also at-tended by the JRC representative. It was the 41th meeting of this expert group. The objectives of the meeting were to update information and discuss several aspects re-lated to the introductions and transfers of non-indigenous species. Data and information management was a key component of the meeting with a special focus on the applica-tionof the ‘Information system on aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species’ (AquaNIS) to support WGITMO mandate. These included issues such as: i) fouling of artificial structures by non-indigenous species, ii) how to better address emerging ICES strategic topics (climate impacts, Arctic research) and iii) internal cooperation in ICES (WGBOSV, WGAQUA, WGIMT). The group also dedicated time for addressing the MSFD D2 issues and discussed these in relation to data availability and management im-plications for NIS in marine ecosystems. Another alien species alert report was published in ICES CRR series (see: Gollasch, S. et al. 2015. Alien Species Alert: Ensis directus. Current status of invasions by the marine bivalve Ensis directus. ICES Cooperative Research Re-port No. 323. 32 pp.). The outline for the new report onthe sea squirt Didemnum vexillum, was developed during the meeting. The group also reviewed OSPAR JAMP Eutrophica-tion Guidelines on phytoplankton species composition and developed advice related to non-indigenous phytoplankton species. As usual, appropriate time was devoted to dis-cuss national reports, exchange of information on the management of NIS and review of research activities. The approach taken during the meeting facilitated presentations and discussions on the issues of relevance related to the Terms of References, but also a few generic and strategi-cally important issues relevant to the theme of bioinvasions in general. The meeting started with a full-day joint meeting with the Working Group on Ballast and Other Ship Vectors (WGBOSV) to provide an opportunity to discuss and address issues of common interest. It was also agreed that this practice of conducting back to back meetings with one joint day will continue in 2016. All Terms of References identified for 2015 were discussed. For some Terms of Refer-ence, a more detailed presentation was given during the meeting and a short overview of the information and subsequent discussion is provided in the report at the end of each section. The report is structured so that each Term of Reference is dealt with in sequential order. The main body of the report contains summaries of the presentations and discus-sions with the more detailed documents being contained in the Annexes. The group progressed in each of the Terms of Reference by either completing the task or clearly identifying and agreeing on the intersessional activities required to finalise the work. Intersessional work is inherently an integral component of future work for WGITMO. To share the workload, several group members were asked to lead some spe-cific tasks.
How to cite
ICES (2015). Report of the ICES Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO). 18-20 March 2015 Bergen, Norway. Ref. ICES CM 2015/SSGEPI:10.

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