SPACC Beyond GLOBEC

The GLOBEC Regional Programme, SPACC (Small Pelagic fishes And Climate Change), was launched in June 1994 with a workshop in La Paz, Mexico (Hunter and Alheit, 1995) and culminated with the SPACC book published in 2009 (Checkley et al., 2009). International co - operation in the field of small pelagic fishes around the globe has a long tradition (Alheit and Bakun, 2009) and, already some years ago, it was discussed how to continue this highly successful co - operation. It was agreed that ICES would be an excellent platform to keep the SPACC work going. The ICES community was very interested in the subject of small pelagics and climate as, so far, ICES work on climate issues was mainly focused on Cod and Climate Change.

In its February 2009 report, the GLOBEC-IMBER Transition Task Team (TTT) recommended that several of GLOBECís regional programmes, including SPACC, should be incorporated into IMBER II. This recommendation was discussed and adopted at a meeting of the IMBER Scientific Steering Committee in June 2009. At its last meeting held in November 2009, the GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee endorsed the need for SPACC to continue and suggested that a small task team meet to discuss the future of a revised SPACC programme and to develop a prototype science plan for SPACC II.

The SPACC II Planning Meeting was held was held in La Paz, Mexico, in February 2010, and participants felt that the need remains to develop predictive models and forecasting capacity regarding climate-induced changes in the production of small pelagic fishes. This was seen as a logical starting point for elaboration of the Science Plan for SPACC II. A preliminary mission statement was developed, and a structure comprising four Task Teams (Management, Hypotheses, Climate and Models) proposed. Drafting of a preliminary Science Plan for SPACC II is presently in process; once completed it will be submitted to the IMBER Scientific Steering Committee for their consideration.