The Annual Meeting of ICES Expert Group Chairs (WGCHAIRS) provides an opportunity for chairs of all ICES working groups to share experiences and ideas, co-ordinate work, meet with their Steering Group, Advisory Committee and Science Committee chairs, and highlight any support they need from the ICES network. The group also provides participants with updates on developments in the network and their implications, as well as opportunities to identify fu-ture science priorities and plans for advisory products.
This 2021 meeting report contains advice-related, science-related and cross-cutting issues. The meeting in 2021 included an extra day for incoming chairs, covering an introduction on the re-sponsibilities for chairs, an introduction to the guidelines for ICES groups and a forum to express expectations and ask questions for the chairs. Advice topics that are addressed include the bench-mark system, reference points, the impact of COVID-19 on the advice delivery, an update on Viewpoints and the advisory work plan for 2021. Science topics that are addressed included an overview on hybrid and online meetings, open sessions and an update of the ASC 2021, an over-view on the new resolution forms and the database, an update on reporting needs, an intro-duction to the new library system that will be launched later in 2021 and an update on science highlights, dissemination and communications. Cross-cutting topics included an update on ex-ecutive summaries, an introduction to the guide to ICES advice, an update on Ecosystem Over-views, gender and inclusivity in ICES – reflection on “Picture a Scientist” and relevance for Ex-pert Group work, and an introduction to Meeting Etiquette and Code of Conduct. A group of Ex-pert Group chairs organised the second half of the joint day with a presentation by Kenneth Rose on challenges of communicating science in today's social and political climate and discus-sion on the topic in breakout groups. The day concluded with a social activity, an escape room game.
Key actions resulting from chairs’ insights are to establish an easy access to the items relevant for Expert Group chairs from the guidelines for ICES groups, e.g. as a FAQ webpage, adding the example of an executive summary for stock assessment groups to the guidelines for ICES groups, provide social media guidelines for ICES community in order to avoid any violation of copy-rights, GDPR matters, or privacy.