Special Sessions

The following special sessions will be included in the technical programme and are among the themes available for authors to submit their papers to.
All papers submitted to a special session will be reviewed through the same review process as the regular papers of the conference to ensure that contributions are of high quality.

1) Participation in the marine environment
Chair: Paula Blackett, NIWA
Communities often view science as an enigmatic thing. Science is seen as something that scientist’s do. However this science often informs environmental management without any input from the people who live and breathe the coastal marine area and are affected by these management decisions. This session is about trying to break through this paradigm. Policy makers and scientists are increasingly recognising the importance of including the community as partners or stakeholders in marine science and management.  
Unfortunately, there is no handbook for how to run participatory processes, or how to effectively incorporate community aspirations and desires into plans, policy and management of the CMA. This session will discuss the learnings, wins and failures from several areas around the country where participatory processes have been undertaken or explored. This includes both large and small-scale projects which will help to shine some light on what works and what doesn’t work.
It is hoped that this session will give people understanding of what we mean by participatory process, what lessons have been learnt in this space and the similarities and differences between successful and unsuccessful partnerships.

2) Managing the risk of Emerging Organic Contaminants (EOCs) in Aotearoa New Zealand’s marine ecosystems – Transdisciplinary science approaches for complex environmental problems
Chair: Virginia (Jinny) Baker, ESR
Emerging organic contaminants and microplastics are just two examples of the increasingly complex environmental challenges encountered by scientists, policy regulators, local/regional government, Iwi and communities. Chemicals and plastics are pervasive in all aspects of modern everyday life, and tackling the problem of plastics and chemical pollution in marine environments will require multi-scale socio-political change in global, local, community/cultural, industry, central government and regional solutions. Transdisciplinary science approaches are recognised as essential for working across disciplinary boundaries and building ‘joined up’ science/policy/industry/community responses to increasingly complex, messy, and often contested ‘nexus’ challenges for sustainability.
Drawing on insights from the development of the ‘Emerging Contaminants’ and ‘Microplastics’ research programmes, this session outlines the use of transdiciplinary  science approaches to build pathways for influencing complex social change.
This interactive session will involve a series of short presentations and facilitated discussion topics for attendees to share knowledge, experiences, strategies, challenges and insights in strengthening the role of scientists and science in building complex social change.

3) Novel Technologies in Aquaculture
Chair: Dr Ali Seyfoddin, Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
This session will include various topics such as aquaculture biology, diagnostic tools, metabolomics, novel feed and bioactive delivery to aquaculture and farm management approaches. The objective of this session will be to introduce novel technological approaches that can be utilised to ensure the growth of New Zealand’s aquaculture production in a sustainable way. 

4) Top of the North marine biosecurity partnership - Marine Biosecurity on the Frontline
Chair: Samantha Happy, Auckland Council
Increasing demand to enhance New Zealand’s marine biosecurity system has led to a number of new emerging initiatives.  This includes, the introduction of national initiatives including the Craft Risk Management Standard, marine pathway plans and the establishment of regional marine biosecurity partnerships and programmes.  One of the marine biosecurity partnerships, the Top on the North Marine Biosecurity Partnership consists of Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Gisborne District Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation. We will provide insight on the journey of the Top of the North marine biosecurity partnership and some of the regional programmes and initiatives.
There are a number of knowledge gaps and barriers that prevent efficient and effective marine biosecurity management within New Zealand.  The Top of the North invite the scientific community and resource managers to deliberate on these challenges during this session and proclaim a scientific challenge, with a stipend available for future research.

5) Biogeochemical-physical interactions in a changing climate. Modelling and Observations
Chairs: Stephen Chiswell and Joanne O’Callaghan, NIWA
Many climate change scenarios suggest that in a warmer wold, the ocean thermocline will be shallower or stronger, there will be less deep winter mixing and hence less primary production. To understand the details of any such changes, we need to understand the interactions between the physics, chemistry and biology of the present-day ocean.
This session will address observations and modelling that will allow us to understand how the present-day marine ecosystem functions, and how it will respond to future change. 

6) Kaikoura earthquake, what have we learnt since November 2016? 
Chair: Richard Ford, MPI
This session aims to disseminate the marine science learnings from a variety of sources on the impacts of the earthquake, and the recovery of the marine community since the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. This continues on from a special session that was held in Christchurch in 2017.

7) Metagenetics for improved monitoring, management and understanding of marine ecosystems
Kindly sponsored by Cawthron Institute
Chair: Anastasija Zaiko, Susie Wood, Xavier Pochon, Cawthron Institute
This special session will provide a platform for presenting recent advances in metagenetic techniques, and showcase their application in biosecurity, aquaculture, offshore exploration, monitoring and conservation of estuarine, coastal and oceanic ecosystems. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss with the experts the current challenges and limitations of these tools, pathways for overcoming those and outlooks.

8) The State of the Marine Environment

Chairs: Hannah Jones, Waikato Regional Council & Michael Townsend, NIWA
Management agencies, kaitiakitanga and researchers need effective methods for assessing the state of the marine environment. This includes appropriate standards from which to assess health, and the ability to detect improvements or deterioration. This session will provide an opportunity to: 1) critically review techniques and indicators that have been applied at either a local or national level, 2) present findings on the current state of, and trends in, the marine environment, and 3) suggest new practical and statistical methods for monitoring soft sediment and rocky benthic environments and pelagic systems.

9) Sustainable Seas
Chairs: Conrad Pilditch, University of Waikato & Carolyn Lundquist, NIWA
The objective of National Science Challenge Sustainable Seas is to enhance the value of New Zealand’s marine resources, while providing a healthy marine environment for the future. The Challenge is focused on providing the research that will underpin a new way of managing New Zealand’s marine resources – Ecosystem based Management, a tool that recognises interactions within ecosystems and with humans, and balances the use and conservation of resources. It is a holistic and inclusive way to manage the competing uses for, demands on, and ways New Zealanders value our marine environment. In the first three years, Sustainable Seas has engaged more than 200 researchers from 37 organisations across 39 integrated projects. This session will showcase recently completed and ongoing research within the Challenge covering a diverse range of topics such as bio-physical research on ecosystem connectivity and tipping points, spatial management tools, cultural valuation frameworks and participatory processes for decision making.  

In addition to the Special Sessions, we welcome the submission of abstracts for oral and poster presentations relevant to the conference theme: "Weaving the Strands" -  drawing together data, disciplines, and perspectives to tell the NZ marine story.

The Conference will consist of several broad scientific sub-themes under which the scientific committee is putting together a wide range of exciting sessions convened by experts in their respective fields. Upon submission you will be requested to select one of the following sub-themes that best suits your presentation.

• Restoration
• Ki uta ki tai – from the mountains to the sea
• Science in society
• Innovating through technology
• Fishing for the future
• State of the marine environment
• Changing coasts and oceans
• Biosecurity
• Understanding structure and function
• Examining ecosystems
• Unravelling biology

Important Dates

Special Session Proposals Close
15th March 2018

Abstract Submission Opens

17th February 2018

Abstract Submission Closes

6th May 2018

Notification of Acceptance
17th May 2018

Author Registration Closes
31 May 2018






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