28th February 2023: Event summary Fifth Marine Mammal Student Symposium

On Friday the 24th of February NAMMCO, the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS) and the University of Tromsø Marine Arctic Biology department hosted the fifth Marine Mammal Student Symposium titled “Marine mammals in a changing Arctic: Finding a pathway for users, scientists, and policymakers to navigate new challenges”.

The symposium was for the second time jointly arranged by NAMMCO, NCLOS and UiT Arctic Biology and was held as a hybrid event (online and in-person), enabling people to participate from all over the world. In total, 110 people registered for the event from countries such as Norway and Iceland but also people from Canada and Somalia joined online. Students from the University of Oslo travelled to Tromsø for the symposium.

Organisation team (left to right Jana Djukarić, Roxane Elvire Jocelyne Lannoy, Jasper Neuman, Fabiola Azevedo Dos Santos Silva & Marc Rams i Ríos) ©Julie Bourdeu (@_thepowerofpictures_)

he symposium was divided into a morning and an afternoon session, with the NAMMCO intern Jana Djukarić and student Fabiola Azevedo Dos Santos Silva serving as the moderators for the day. The morning session began with a welcome and short presentations of NAMMCO, NCLOS and Arctic Biology by the General Secretary Geneviève Desportes, Professor Ingvild Jakobsen and Sophie Bourgeon respectively. Then the first session of students talks commenced which resulted in an icebreaker session for the students to start to get to know each other and exchange information.

After a lunch break with delicious vegetarian pizzas, the participants reconvened for another round of student presentations and another break out session to discuss the presentations in small groups. The student presentations across the day covered a range of different topics, spanning both biology and law, and addressed a number of different themes, such as telemetry, physiology, bycatch, stress assessments, and the possible effects of deep seabed mining on marine mammals.

The afternoon session also included presentations from three invited keynote speakers: Sara Olsvig (ICC Greenland), Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources) and Professor Ingvild Jakobsen (NCLOS).

NAMMCO considers the symposium to have been a success overall, although time for breakout sessions was limited due to many presentations which requires attention for future symposiums. We like to thank the students Fabiola Azevedo Dos Santos Silva, Jasper Neuman, Marc Rams i Ríos and Roxane Elvire Jocelyne Lannoy for their dedication throughout the organisation of the event.

Find out more about the student symposium here

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