News Environment and Territorial Policy

Iosu Madariaga: "biodiversity loss and climate change are two major challenges of government and scientific community in the Bay of Biscay"

2016 June 22


 Speech by Iosu Madariaga to open the XV International Symposium on the Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay

9:15 am, Wednesday 22 June 2016


Egun on, good morning,

I am delighted to be here with you to open this International Symposium on the Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay. 

On behalf of the Basque Government's Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Policy, I would like to thank the Plant Biology and Ecology Department at the University of the Basque Country for this opportunity to take part in this event that we consider to be of great significance and importance to further our knowledge and conservation of the Bay of Biscay.

 I would like to use this short speech to bring to the table two of the environmental challenges that governments and the scientific community from around the world are trying to address. I am referring to the loss of biodiversity and to climate change.

 As you are all aware, the solutions that biodiversity provides are essential for our development and wellbeing. Protecting habitats and species is the only current guarantee to preserve the wealth of the earth’s  biological material, which is fundamental to ensure the future of our planet.  Yet, a healthy and resilient biodiversity is vital for our health and essential for our economy, to create jobs and to stimulate our investments. We depend on it to obtain food, energy, raw materials, air and water. It is also a source of inspiration, knowledge, health, leisure and tourism, along with being an important part of our cultural legacy.

 The sea and the coast are an essential part of our lives, of our landscape and of our idiosyncrasy. Our proximity to the sea means we can enjoy its great natural wealth that, at the same time, becomes economic wealth through the different sectors of activity related to the marine environment and the coast.  And that is why it is so important to look after and conserve it.

 The Bay of Biscay, just like other similar environments, is facing its water  warming by between 1.5 and 3.5 ºC and  a rise of sea-level of between 29 and 49 cm by the end of century, along with the foreseeable increase in the number of storms.

 The Basque Country has environmental planning instruments in place to mitigate those effects and to allow us to overcome extreme situations and comply with the environmental commitments that we have set. The most important of all of them is the Environmental Framework Programme 2020.  This has led to the “Climate Change Strategy of the Basque Country 2050”, passed last year, the Geodiversity Strategy 2020, and the Biodiversity Strategy 2030, whose public participation process has just finished and which will soon be passed.

 They all set targets and show us the way, the direction to be taken. The actions not only of the public administration, but also of the rest of society's stakeholders, such as the scientific community of the universities and technology centres, companies and the general public, must all be in line with that approach.

 I hope that your work sessions today will add to the knowledge of our environment and in the search for solutions for the challenges that we are going to necessarily have to face from now on.  


Eskerrik asko, thank you!


The XV International Symposium on Oceanography of the Bay of Biscay (ISOBAY 15) will be held in Bilbao, from June 22 to June 24, 2016.


This biennial symposium is aimed to offer researchers conducting studies on the Bay of Biscay, from open ocean to coastal and estuarine zones, the opportunity to present and discuss their most updated works. With a multidisciplinary nature the goal is to make a significant contribution towards an integrated knowledge of the Bay of Biscay.


The main theme of this 15th edition is Changing Ecosystems: Natural versus Anthropogenic Effects and the scientific programme will cover the following topics:

 1. Physical Oceanography

 2. Climate-ocean relations

 3. Geology, erosion, transport and sedimentation

 4. Biogeochemical cycles

 5. Biodiversity, ecosystem structure and functioning

 6. Fisheries and Aquaculture

 7. Anthropogenic effects, quality assessment and ecosystem management


ISOBAY 15 can be an excellent occasion to meet and network with many other researchers interested in the study of the Bay of Biscay, both for early career researchers, as well as for established scientists. It can be a good opportunity also to visit Bilbao, a city which has undergone an internationally recognized urban transformation, becoming a modern and pleasant city with a wide cultural and gastronomical offer.


Journal of Sea Research has accepted to host a special issue with papers (oral/poster) presented at ISOBAY 15 following full paper submission and peer review. Paper submission deadline is 15 October 2016. Fernando Villate, Pierre Anschutz, Ángel Borja and Moncho Gómez Gesteira will be Guest Editors.


The symposium venue will be the Bizkaia Aretoa of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), located in the city centre, within walking distance from the Guggenheim museum of modern art. Oral presentations will be in the Mitxelena auditorium and posters will be shown in the Etxepare and Axular exhibition galleries.


Wednesday, 22 June

 08:45 – 09:15 Registration

 09:15 – 09:45 Opening

 Iosu Madariaga, Deputy Minister for Environment of the Basque Government

 Carmelo Garitaonandia, Vice-chancellor of the Campus of Biscay, UPV/EHU

 Arantza Iriarte, Symposium Co-chair, UPV/EHU

 Sergio Seoane, Symposium Co-chair, UPV/EHU

 09:45 – 10:15 Opening Plenary Presentation

 I. Marigomez, PIE, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)

 Sentinel mussels unveil long-term trends in ecosystem health status in the Bay of Biscay

 10:15 – 10:35 Coffee break


Session 1. Climate-ocean relations and physical oceanography

 (Chairs: Jon Saenz and Moncho Gómez Gesteira)

 10:35 – 11:05 Valencia V. Fontán A., Borja Á., Goikoetxea N., González M. (Keynote)

 1986-2015: Three decades of oceano-meteorological data in the SE Bay of Biscay. Main trends, regime shifts and anomaly patterns observed

 11:05 – 11:25 González-Rojí S.J., Sáenz J., Ulazia A., Ibarra-Berastegi G., Esnaola G., Fontán A., González M.

 Using high resolution atmospheric models to study atmospheric-oceanic coupling over the Bay of Biscay

 11:25 – 11:45 Fernández-Nóvoa D., deCastro M., Costoya X., Gómez-Gesteira M.

 Variability of the main river plumes of the Bay of Biscay under the influence of forcing drivers and teleconnection indices

 11:45 – 12:05 Costoya X., Fernández-Nóvoa D., de Castro M., Gómez-Gesteira M., Lazure, P.

 Effect of river discharges on thermohaline structure along the French continental shelf

 12:05 – 12:25 Laporte-Fauret Q., Ganthy F.

 Implementation and validation of a new method to take into account for small-scale seagrass patchiness within a 3-dimensional modelling system at regional scale

 12:25 – 12:45 Rodríguez L., Gómez-Gesteira M., Santos F.  

 Migration duration of the European Anguilla eel.

 12:45 – 14:00 Lunch

 14:00 – 14:20 González-Pola C., Ivey G., Jones,N., Kelly S., Bluteau C., Somavilla R.

 Internal tide dynamics and enhanced mixing in the Avilés Canyon System, southern Bay of Biscay

 14:20 – 14:40 Solabarrieta L., Frolov S., Cook M., Paduan J., Rubio A., González M., Mader J., Charria G.

 Comparison of real and simulated trajectories in the Bay of Biscay, using HF radar derived currents

 14:40 – 15:00 Caballero A., Rubio A., Boyra G., Ferrer L., Cotano U., Aldanondo N., Urtizberea A.

 Mesoscale slope dynamics and its influence on juvenile anchovy abundances

 15:00 – 15:20 Cano D., González-Pola C., Somavilla R., Tel E., Rodriguez C., Ruiz-Villarreal M., Lavín A.

 Sensor Networks and derived products at Biscay AGL observatory. State of the art operational oceanography at IEO

 15:20 – 15:50 Coffee break


Session 2. Fisheries and Aquaculture

 (Chair: Haritz Arrizabalaga )

 15:50 – 16:10 Cort J.L., Abaunza P.

 The impact of massive fishing of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tunas on the spawning population (1950-2009)

 16:10 – 16:30 Arregui I., Galuardi B., Goñi N., Lam C.H., Fraile I., Santiago J., Lutcavage M.E., Arrizabalaga H.

 Fidelity of juvenile bluefin tuna to the Bay of Biscay

 16:30 – 16:50 Goñi N., Onandia I., Uranga J., Martinez U., Lopez J., Boyra G., Arrizabalaga H., Arregui I., Santiago J.

 Towards a fishery-independent abundance index for East Atlantic juvenile bluefin tunas: first outputs of a directed acoustic survey in the Bay of Biscay

 16:50 – 17:10 Fernández-Zapico O., Punzón A., Serrano A., Landa J., Ruiz-Pico S., Velasco F.

 Trends on the ontogeny of the dominant flatfish species on the southern Bay of Biscay. Ecoloy and distribution patterns

 17:10 – 17:30 Ferrer L., Caballero A., Ibaibarriaga L., Uriarte A., Urtizberea A., Aldanondo N., Rubio A., Cotano U., Santos M.

 Impact of oceanographic conditions on the dispersal of anchovy eggs and larvae in two contrasting years of recruitment success in the Bay of Biscay

 17:30 – 17:50 Modica L., Rodríguez-Cabello C., Ruiz S., Fernández O., Velasco F., Sánchez F.

 Historical trends of demersal elasmobranchs populations in the Cantabrian Sea

 17:50 – 18:10 Kermorvant C., Caill-Milly N., D'Amico F., Bru N., Sanchez F., Brown J., Lissardy M.

 Clam monitoring: optimization of a recurring survey in the Arcachon Bay using spatially balanced sampling

 19:30 – 21:00 Welcome food and drinks


Thursday, 23 June

 Session 3. Biodiversity; ecosystem structure and functioning

 (Chairs: Yolanda Del Amo and J.I. Saiz-Salinas)

 09:00 – 09:20 Chaalali A., Brind'Amour A., Dubois S., Le Bris H.

 Ecological role of an engineer species, Haploops nirae, for coastal benthic invertebrates and demersal fish

 09:20 – 09:40 Villate F., Iriarte A., Uriarte I., Sanchez I.

 Seasonal and interannual variability of mesozooplankton and the relationship to environmental factors in two contrasting estuaries of the Bay of Biscay

 09:40 – 10:00 Muñiz O., Revilla M., Rodríguez J.G., Laza-Martínez A., Seoane S., Franco J., Orive E.

 Potential effects of the phytoplankton community on bivalve aquaculture in Basque coastal waters (southeastern Bay of Biscay)

 10:00 – 10:20 Susperrégui N., Del amo Y., D'Elbée J., Jude F., David V., Bru N., D'Amico F., Raimbault P., Bichon S., Bourasseau L., Lienart C., Savoye N., Rouaud V., Soulier L., Gaudin P., Pigot T.

 Planktonic biodiversity in the French Basque coast in relation with marine pelagic mucilage occurrence

 10:20 – 10:50 Coffee break

 10:50 – 11:10 Bonnin A., Goñi N., Louzao M., Arrizabalaga H.

 New data on albacore diet and internal parasites in the Bay of Biscay and surrounding waters

 11:10 – 11:30 Lopez-Lopez L., Preciado I., Muñoz I., Decima M., Molinero J.C., Tel E.

 Does upwelling intensity influence feeding habits and trophic position of planktophagous fish?

 11:30 – 11:50 Ramos E., Puente A., Echavarri-Erasun B., Juanes J.A.

 Are environmental conditions involved in clam population decline?

 11:50 – 12:10 Muguerza N., Díez I., Quintano E., Enjamio A., García-Sánchez M., Veiga A., Pérez-Ruzafa I., Pérez-Ruzafa A., Gorostiaga J.M.

 Baseline characterization of rocky subtidal benthic vegetation of the north and southern Iberian Peninsula

 12:10 – 12:30 Ortega M.M., Barrenetxea M.

 Distribution, growth and recruitment of Actinia equina (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) in the Cantabric Sea: crevices vs. rock pools.

 12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

 14:00 – 14:20 Boyé A., Legendre P., Grall J., Gauthier O.

 Spatial and temporal variations of Zostera marina meadows in Brittany: relationship between habitat complexity and macrofaunal diversity

 14:20 – 14:40 Sánchez F., Rodríguez A., García-Alegre A., Gómez-Ballesteros M.

 Hard bottoms bathyal habitats and epibenthic communities of Le Danois Bank

 14:40 – 15:00 Robert A.E., Dubois S.F., Le Bris H., Pinsivy L., Laffargue P.

 Biological traits analysis revealed combined effects of bottom trawling and sedimentary features on benthic ecosystem functioning in the Northern Bay of Biscay

 15:00 – 15:20 Quillien N.

 Dynamic ecosystems under anthropogenic stress: how does macrotidal sandy beach fauna respond to green tides?

 15:20 – 15:40 Gallon R., Labrune C., Lavesque N., Grall J., Grémare A., Gauthier O. RESOMAR data providers

 Biogeographic patterns of marine macrobenthic invertebrates in French Waters

 15:40 – 16:00 Serrano A., Cartes J., Punzón A., Arronte J.C., Ríos P., Lourido A., Papiol V., Frutos I., García-Alegre A., Blanco M.

 Epibenthic communities of a NE Atlantic deep seamount

 16:00 – 17:00 Coffee break and poster session 1


Session 4. Geology; erosion; transport and sedimentation

(Chair: Alejandro Cearreta)

 17:00 – 17:20 Baumann J., Chaumillon E., Schneider J.L., Schmidt S., Bonnin J.

 Are sediments of land-reclaimed coastal lowlands suitable for recording storm-induced marine floods?

 17:20 – 17:40 Michel G., Dupré S., Ehrhold A., Baltzer A., Battani A., Imbert P., Deville E.

 Multi-data characterization of methane seeps on the Aquitaine Shelf

 17:40 – 18:00 Liria P., Epelde I., Uriarte A., Garnier R., González M., Gainza J., Jaramillo C., Medina R., Monge-Ganuzas M.

 Laida beach morphodynamic evolution in response to the supratidal beach nourishment actions performed in 2015

 18:00 – 18:20 Gainza J., Garnier R., Nuñez P., Jaramillo C., González M., Medina R., Liria P., Epelde I., Uriarte A., Monge-Ganuzas M.

 Accelerating the beach recovery by ploughing the intertidal bar: Field experiment and numerical simulations

 18:20 – 18:50 Zabaleta A., Antiguedad I., Barrio I., Probst J.L.

 An approach to the conceptual model of Suspended Sediment Delivery from small catchments into the Bay of Biscay

 20:30 Conference Dinner


Friday, 24 June

Session5. Biogeochemical Cycles and Anthropogenic effects; quality assessment and ecosystem management

(Chairs: Miren Cajaraville and Pierre Anschutz)

 09:00 – 09:20 Anschutz P., Buquet D., Charbonnier C.

 Nutrient sequestration in Aquitaine lakes limits nutrient flux to the coastal zone

 09:20 – 09:40 Borja Á., Uyarra M.C.

 From data to marine environmental status assessment: innovative tools for European seas management

 09:40 – 10:00 Gil-Uriarte E., Bilbao E., Marigómez I., Soto M.

 Xenostrobus securis: a challenge to classic Biomonitoring studies?

 10:00 – 10:20 Valencia A., Ruiz M., Serrano M.T., Cancio I., Ortiz-Zarragoitia M.

 Endocrine disruption and contaminant exposure assessment in male thicklip grey mullets, using liver and gonad histopathological and molecular biomarkers

 10:20 – 10:40 Briaudeau T., Izagirre U., Marigómez I.

 Screening sentinel fish species for biomonitoring programmes in the Bay of Biscay: histopathological and biomarker approaches

 10:40 – 11:20 Coffee break and poster session 2

 11:20 – 11:40 Mijangos L., Delgado A., Kortazar L., Ziarrusta H., Olivares M., Zuloaga O., Fernández L.A., Prieto A., Etxebarria N.

 Analysis of emerging organic contaminants in the estuaries of Biscay: identification of potential sources

 11:40 – 12:00 Rial D., Leon V., Bellas J.

 Integrative assessment of coastal marine pollution in Santander Bay and Galician Rías

 12:00 – 12:20 Huguenin L., Lalanne Y., Bru n., Lissardy M., D'Amico F., Milon E., Castege I., de Casamajor M.N.

 Biodiversity and indicator species in intertidal boulder fields: a case study on the French Basque coast

 12:20 – 12:40 Serrano H., Cearreta A., Irabien M.J., López, I.

 Anthropocene geological record of the environmental regeneration process in the Bilbao estuary (N Spain)

 12:40 – 13:00 Pouso S., Uyarra M.C., Borja A.

 Does recovery of ecosystems equal to the recovery of ecosystem services? The Nervión estuary and recreational fishing ecosystem service case study

 13:00 – 14:30 Lunch

 14:30 – 14:50 Mengual B., Cayocca F., Le Hir P., Garlan T.

 Trawling contribution to residual sediment dynamics over the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay (France)

 14:50 – 15:10 Aylagas E., Borja Á., Dell´Anno A., Corinaldesi C., Tangherlini M., Michel C .T., Irigoien X., Danovaro R., Rodríguez-Ezpeleta N.

 A new biotic index based on bacterial diversity for the assessment of marine environmental status

 15:10 – 15:30 Franco J., Bald J., Garmedia J.M., González M., Martín I., Menchaca I., Muxika I., Revilla M., Rodríguez J.G., de la Sota A., Uriarte A., Zorita I.

 Detecting abrupt changes and gradual trends in water quality: the 1990-2015 data series of the Nervión estuary (SE Bay of Biscay) analyzed by the Kolmogorov-Zurbenko Adaptive filter

 15:30 – 15:50 Garmendia J.M., Valle M., Borja Á., Chust G., Franco J.

 Zostera seagrasses in the Basque coast: Is Butroe estuary a suitable recipient site?

 15:50 – 16:10 Uyarra M.C., Borja Á.

 What is the environmental status of the Basque Coast? From individual ecosystem components to integrated assessments

 16:10 – 16:30 Awards and Closing of symposium Selleslagh J., Pécheyran C., Baudrimont M., Amara R., Daverat F.

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