ICES
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Headquarter: Copenhagen, Denmark

About ICES


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.

​​Our 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. 

We are a network of more than 5,000 scientists from over 700 marine institutes in our 20 member countries and beyond. 1,500 scientists participate in our activities annually.

Through strategic partnerships our work in the Atlantic Ocean also extends into the Arctic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the North Pacific Ocean.


As an intergovernmental marine science organisation, our primary roles are to advance and share scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and the services they provide - and to employ this knowledge to generate state of the art advice on meeting conservation, management and sustainability goals.

We work collaboratively with our member countries, partners, clients, and stakeholders, as well as the wider marine science community, to create and share knowledge, data and advice. 

We also provide training and networking opportunities for the new and emerging generation of marine scientists, and support the work of Early Career Scientists.

Our scientific work spans all aspects of marine ecosystem and sustainability science - from observation and exploration to understanding human interactions with the sea, and we work across different disciplines from natural, to social, to economic sciences. 

We draw on our scientific work and data to provide impartial  scientific advice for a wide range of recipients, including our member countries and international organizations and commissions, such as the Oslo Paris Commission (OSPAR), the Helsinki Commission - Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM), the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), and the European Commission (EC).​