Dear Mr. Hammer,
Dear Ms. Brusendorff,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
welcome to Hamburg to the annual meeting of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
The ICES is an important international organisation, coordinating over 100 Expert Groups at various scientific institutions. The main task of the ICES lies in matters of fishing. The results of their research is the scientific foundation upon which the EU Fisheries Ministers base the catch quota for sea fish.
It is impossible to undertake research into fish stocks without also researching other questions of marine science, such as the pollution of our oceans or the climate change.
Responsible use of our oceans must always keep in mind all relevant aspects of the ecosystems of the sea.
Due to the port and our proximity to the coast, the sea has always played a central role in Hamburg and research in the areas of marine and climate science have a special importance to us.
The Hamburg ClimateCampus, for instance, brings together a large number of notable institutions, all under one roof:
- the German Meteorological Service,
- the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology,
- the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency,
- the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute and
- the Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht with the Climate Service Centre Germany.
The states in Northern Germany, with Hamburg as their metropolis in the middle, constitute a major centre of international marine research.
We have institutions such as the
- Alfred-Wegener-Institute in Bremerhaven,
- the Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremen,
- the Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research GEOMAR in Kiel and
- the Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sear Research in Rostock,
which all share a high degree of international esteem and deliver significant contributions to our understanding of the seas.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our oceans are the largest ecosystem on earth. The rising water temperatures, the pollution and the threat to the many endangered species pose a challenge not only to fisheries, but to all of humanity, whose fate is closely tied to that of our oceans.
The work of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea is important so that future generations can enjoy healthy seas and the natural riches they contain.
I wish you all an interesting meeting, good networking and the best of luck with your work.
Thank you very much.