[Click here for a PDF version of the conference announcement below]

Bergen, Norway 12–14 June 2019

About the symposium:

In 2019 we celebrate the 150-year anniversary of Johan Hjort (1869–1948), who introduced the fundamental theory for current fisheries science with his concepts of the roles played by strong and weak year classes in population structure and productivity. Since then a wide range of new methods and approaches have emerged to refine Hjort’s theory, but today’s knowledge of factors regulating stock dynamics, e.g. recruitment and migration dynamics, is still vague and thereby makes stock projections often highly uncertain. Moreover, the urge to broaden the standard routines in stock management to embrace today’s holistic views, including ecosystem approaches to fisheries and on-going changes in the marine environment, implies an interdisciplinary co-operation. In order to move forward, the current situation asks for a profound insight in the past and present stage, and a dedicated search for new ideas and scientific framework.

To investigate the history, the present and to explore new directions in a free and creative atmosphere – in the spirit of Hjort – we invite marine researchers and historians of marine science to gather in this Bergen symposium, at the place where Hjort launched his paradigm-changing publication in 1914.

We argue that by integrating data, information and perspectives, from a range of scientific fields, we will be able to reach a more advanced understanding of marine life as well as the practice of marine science in the past and present. Challenging the scientific legacy of Johan Hjort will be a truly interdisciplinary event and bring historians together with marine and fisheries scientists.

The majority of the sessions will be set up as plenary sessions and contain contributions from different bodies of knowledge. We aim at 150 participants, scholars and scientists.

Opening session: Johan Hjort (1914): A Classic to Honour and Challenge”. This session will introduce the aims and ambitions for this symposium: to remember, examine and challenge the classics in marine research with a particular focus on Hjort 1914. Opening keynote speaker: Professor Ray Hilborn, University of Washington, Seattle, USA:

Other keynote speakers:

  • Head of Research Group, Akonori Taksuka, National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Yokohama, Japan
  • Senior Research Scientist, Karen Evans, CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (tunas)
  • Director/Research Scientist, Robert L. Stephenson, DFO, St Andrews Biological Station, Canada (herring)
  • Science Leader/Principal Scientist Timothy M. Ward, SARDI, Henley Beach, Adelaide, Australia (“small pelagics”)
  • Principal Scientist Svein Sundby, IMR, Bergen (The Recruitment Enigma).

For complete information about the programme, please read attached pdf-file


Venue: Hotel Scandic Bergen City, Håkonsgaten 2-7, Bergen: https://www.scandichotels.com/

Registration and deadlines: Early registration and abstract submission from 1 October 2018; final registration and abstract submission on 15 April 2019 at https://www.hi.no/conferences/JohanHjort/

Publication plan: Contributions are to be published in ICES Journal of Marine Science. https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/pages/General_Instructions. Note that manuscripts can be submitted at any time between now (December 2018) and three months after the conference: the final deadline is 14 September 2019.

Registration fee: NOK 4000 (~420 Euro, ~475 US Dollar, currency rates as of December 2018); NOK 2000 for students and early career scientists. The fee includes Welcome Reception with canapés on Tuesday 11 June 1900-2200 hrs; hot lunches and coffee breaks (with cakes/fruit) during the symposium; refreshment at Poster session; a marine scientific walk in Bergen, tickets with Fløibanen (the funicular); conference dinner at Fløien Restaurant; a complimentary bag including the Book of abstract; a visit to IMR’s research vessel Johan Hjort with snack provided onboard.

Support to graduate students and early-career scientists: ICES and ICHO co-sponsorship includes financial support (in addition to the already lowered registration fee). This grant can be used to cover up to five nights at Hotel Scandic Bergen. A short application including a few words about the applicant and the abstract should be sent to the co-conveners by Olav Sigurd Kjesbu, olav.kjesbu@imr.no, as soon as possible and no later than 1 March 2019.

Accommodation: A number of number of rooms are reserved at Hotel Scandic Bergen City, Bergen: double rooms can be shared by two persons for the same price as for a single room, currently 1260 NOK per night. Breakfast is included. Booking should be done through the above link to the hotel: https://www.scandichotels.com/


Conveners: Olav Sigurd Kjesbu (Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Bergen, Norway); Vera Schwach (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), Oslo, Norway); Jennifer Hubbard (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada); Iain Suthers (University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia)

Scientific Steering Committee: Gregory Ferguson-Cradler (University of Bergen); Bronwyn May Gillanders (University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia); Brian R. MacKenzie (DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark); Tom J. Miller (Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland, Solomons, USA);  Helen Rozwadowski (University of Connecticut (UConn), Groton, USA).

Local Organizing Committee: Olav Sigurd Kjesbu, Vera Schwach; from IMR Gunnar Sætra, Andreas Angermann; Kathrin Gjerdevik,, Monica M. Tolleshaug, Thassya C.dos Santos Schmidt, Matina Stiasny, Mark Tiedmann and Kari Østervold Toft; and Anne Karin Hufthammer (University of Bergen).

Olav Sigurd Kjesbu, Vera Schwach, Jennifer Hubbard and Iain Suthers, 5 December 2018.

Johan and co. on the Michael Sars