The key question of the CCC programme is:“how does climate variability affect the productivity and distribution of cod stocks?”

In 1998 the CCC Working Group adopted a strategic plan with seven main objectives related to the key question above:

  • Fisheries Management: To incorporate environmental information in a quantitative manner into fisheries management strategies and planning.
  • Retrospective Analyses: To examine past events or periods as a means of better understanding the links between changes in the environment and fisheries.
  • Zooplankton-Cod Linkages: To understand the relative importance of zooplankton in determining the variability in cod abundance and production.
  • Comparative Analyses: To undertake comparative studies of life history strategies and interannual variability in growth, distribution, and abundance between cod stocks around the North Atlantic.
  • Climate and Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions: To understand and predict climate variability and its associated ecosystem response.
  • Data Availability and Management: To ensure that environmental and fisheries data are easily and widely available.
  • Synthesis: To provide a synthesis of the research information obtained on cod stocks.

The strategic plan is reviewed annually and a series of action plans are proposed and carried out. The most recent strategic and action plan for 2005-2009 has been approved by the GLOBEC SSC. The plan reviews past activities, presents currents synthesis activities and proposes a series of six workshops between 2005 and 2009.

One of the principal issues which will continue to be addressed over the period to 2009 is how new understanding gained from detailed scientific studies can be applied to used to improve the management of fisheries and of the marine ecosystem.


The ICES Cod and Climate Change program (CCC) was established in 1992 but had is origins in an ICES Study Group on Cod Fluctuations formed in 1990. The CCC members are mostly fisheries oceanographers and fisheries biologists, but at the workshops, the program has a policy of involving experts from other fields of knowledge, including history, pure oceanography, climatology/meteorology, numerical modelling, geochemistry, physiology, and others. In this way the CCC program has been able to delve more thoroughly into chosen topics and involve more scientists in the work of GLOBEC.

Much of the scientific work within the CCC program to meet the above objectives has been carried out in workshops; focused meetings where 15-25 scientists, often some from outside the core GLOBEC or ICES community, work for 2-3 days. The workshops include presentations, but give more attention to discussion and synthesis of information made available prior to the meeting. The group attempts to establish conceptual as well as statistical, analytical or numerical models of the key variables and control processes in advance of the meeting so that the workshop can focus on the interpretation of results at a more complete and integrated stage.


ICES/GLOBEC Co-ordinator: Dr Keith Brander (

Co-chairs: Dr Geir Ottersen (
Dr Ken Drinkwater (

and Dr Kai Weiland (