ICES is a global marine science organization for data and information products, scientific cooperation and advice. ICES mission is to advance scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and provide knowledge for sustainable management of seas. One of ICES main products is training. The ICES training programme promotes ecosystem-based approaches and builds capacity for ocean governance. The Programme was initiated in 2009 to spread scientific knowledge and help build human capacity. Approximately 8 courses are offered throughout each year, on a range of topics, including fish stock assessment ecosystem modelling, model building, management strategy evaluation, Bayesian inference, integrated ecosystem assessment, analysis and visualization of Vessel Monitoring Systems, communication of science and advice, and how to lead an effective technical meeting. This directly responds to UN SDG 14 targets 14.2. (Sustainable management and protection of marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts) and 14.4. (Effectively regulate harvesting and end over-fishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks).
Each course is taught within the context of the ICES science and advisory system to demonstrate best practices as well as state of the art technical skills. Courses are selected annually, by a carefully selected training course committee. Courses are chosen on the basis of requests from the ICES community and ICES partner organizations. More than 700 students have attended ICES courses from over 30 countries. Most students have been from ICES member countries, but many non-ICES-member countries are also regularly represented, as well as participants from cooperating institutions, universities and organisations.
In 2018 ICES will expand its human capacity building services thematically and geographically by organizing a series of training courses for the Large Marine Ecosystem practitioners under the GEF/UNDP Strengthening Global Governance of Large Marine Ecosystems and Their Coasts through Enhanced Sharing and Application of LME/ICM/MPA Knowledge and Information Tools LME-LEARN project.