The Basque Country brings together the leading world experts in marine research

2023 September 11

● From 11th to 14th September the ICES-CIEM Science Conference presents the latest advances in sustainable use of the oceans at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao.

● The event brings together over 750 professionals, heads of research institutes and political leaders from Europe and North America.

● The AZTI technology centre, with the support of the Basque government, the Bizkaia provincial authority, and Bilbao city council, hosts the event, organised annually by ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

The Basque Country is to be the meeting place for the world's top experts in marine research from 11th to 14th September at the ICES-CIEM Annual Science Conference (ASC), which presents the latest advances in the sustainable use of the oceans at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao.

The AZTI technology centre, with extensive experience and an international landmark in this scientific sphere, will be hosting over 750 marine science professionals, heads of research institutes and political leaders from countries in Europe and North America, who come together in the Basque Country to discuss and share the need to boost the sustainability of marine ecosystems.

"More and more attention is being paid to the importance of our oceans in coping with environmental and economic challenges, both nationally and internationally. Hosting this conference is therefore a key marine milestone for the Basque Country and for the province of Bizkaia," stated Rogelio Pozo, CEO of AZTI.

This forum, which scientists will also be able to follow online, includes a packed programme of talks, work sessions and round tables dealing with current topics, with special focus on the work being done to provide science, data and advice on the sustainable use of our seas and oceans.

Challenges and new horizons

The scientific research presented at this conference will help to establish the foundations to ensure the continuation of the benefits that marine and coastal ecosystems provide for society, and make it possible to boost people's health, wealth, and quality of life. These benefits, referred to as ecosystem services, are analysed in a context of adaptation and increased resilience of marine and human systems in the face of climate change.

The event will help to continue progress in achieving the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFG), as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, It will also facilitate full implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, with its new approach that seeks to ensure a favourable state of conservation of the habitats and species that are part of the services and benefits offered by the ocean.

Moreover, attracting this international event is a further step in creating prosperity locally by bringing major events to the Basque Country. In this respect, apart from the technical and scientific results of the conference, it is estimated that it will have a total impact worth over 380,000 euros, helping to support 3.8 jobs a year. Hospitality, R&D, cultural services, retail and transport are the sectors that will benefit most.

The event is supported by the Basque government, the Bizkaia provincial authority and Bilbao city council, with the collaboration of the Galician firm Marine Instruments.


The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is an intergovernmental marine science organization, meeting societal needs for impartial evidence on the state and sustainable use of our seas and oceans.

Its goal is to advance and share scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and the services they provide and to use this knowledge to generate state-of-the-art advice for meeting conservation, management, and sustainability goals.

ICES receives requests for scientific advice from public authorities, such as the European Commission, on a range of issues relating to marine policies and management. This includes advice on ecosystem services and the impacts of human activities as well as on fisheries, and environmental status and trends.

About AZTI

AZTI is a science and technology centre that conducts high-impact research and change projects together with organisations aligned with the United Nations 2030 SDGs. Its purpose is to drive a positive change for the future of people, contributing to a healthy, sustainable and fully-rounded society. Specialising in the marine environment and food, it provides cutting-edge, value-added products and technologies based on solid science and research.

AZTI has 40 years of experience, a presence in 45 countries, three sites in the Basque Country and a team of over 290 people. Its long history includes over 1,500 indexed publications and its excellence is founded on its research staff, of whom 60% have doctorates.

AZTI is a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), made up of four collaborating research centres and 12 technology centres, which seeks to boost collaboration between its member organisations, reinforce the conditions to generate and pass on knowledge to companies with the aim of boosting their competitiveness, stimulating the industrial fabric and projecting Basque scientific and technological capacity internationally.

  • Photo Xaver
    2023 September 13

    Baldin eta Europa mailan erregai fosilak erauztea planteatu badaiteke, eskariaren gorabeherek inflazio handiagoa eta zorraren gehikuntza eragin dezaketenean, energia-trantsizioak irauten duen bitartean erreserba ateratzea.

  • Photo Xaver
    2023 September 13

    Si cabe plantearse extracción combustibles fósiles a nivel europeo cuando las fluctuaciones de la demanda puedan causar más inflación e incremento de deuda, extracción de reserva mientras dure la transición energética.

  • Photo Carmen Ruiz Azcona
    2023 September 13

    Simplemente, no creo ya en vosotros, todo es márquetin y propaganda política. Lo que hacéis realmente no lo sabemos. Estoy muy decepcionada. y no sois lo que decís sino lo que hacéis; por ejemplo es cierto lo que ha comentado Rafa Pérez Beristain ?
    Las playas están contaminadas, se está permitiendo el baño en sitios que debería estar prohibido, por ejemplo Toña de Sukarrieta, al lado de Azti. ¿ Alguien se ha preocupado y puesto remedio a las aguas que se vierten contaminadas? Veo una política de envoltorio de regalo y de una realidad negra.

  • Photo Rafa Perez Beristain
    2023 September 12

    A que a los científicos que han venido no les han comentado que ayer publicaron un Decreto para crear 150 pescadores profesionales durante un mes para pescar los últimos alevines de una especie en peligro crítico de desaparición?
    Que no vayan de operar con convicciones científicas cuando lo suyo solo es defender los amigismos.
    Cuando van a desarrollar la red Natura 2000 marina que el resto de Europa ya ha desarrollado? Cuando planes de recuperación de especies prácticamente desaparecidas como el besugo, la palometa, la langosta, el abacando o la cigala? Cuando se cumplirá el decreto aprobado en tiempos del lendakari Ardanza que impedía el arte del cerco en aguas interiores y cuando se limitará el arrastre de litoral?
    Mutriku Natur Taldea

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Politicians attending the event