Visiting Iceland for the 2nd Marine SABRES General Assembly

Marine SABRES partners in Hafnarfjörður

On October 2-5, 2023, Marine SABRES partners met in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland, for their second General Assembly, one year after the kick-off meeting in Cork, Ireland. Members from each of our 21 partner organisations met together at Hafrannsóknastofnun, the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland (MFRI), for three days of productive discussions on the research activities partners have accomplished so far and tasks yet to come.

LifeWatch ERIC joined the meeting with the participation of Cristina Huertas-Olivares (International Initiatives & Projects Manager at LifeWatch ERIC SSO, Seville, Spain), and its LifeWatching WebTV

LifeWatching WebTV joined the Marine SABRES 2nd General Assembly to record audio-visual material for Marine SABRES’ Video Documentary and some WebTV videos, while conducting a first series of interviews with WP leaders, DAs leaders, project partners and some local stakeholders of the fishery sector based in the Arctic Demonstration Area. The local partners and stakeholders made a general presentation of pelagic fisheries in Iceland, illustrating its history and importance, how it has changed over time, what are the most important fish stocks etc, while exploring its economic and environmental challenges. The video shootings took place during the three-day meeting at MFRI, and at the Icelandic Maritime Museum and Ocean Cluster, in Reykjavik. Moreover, some video shootings of the naturalistic surroundings near Reykjavik will be realised.

The driving force of this first year has been stakeholder engagement in the three ‘demonstration areas’ of the project: Macaronesia, the Arctic-Northeast Atlantic, and the Tuscan Archipelago. As a project, Marine SABRES is explicitly designed with the input from the community at its core, rather than using a top-down approach. By inviting stakeholders into the decision-making process, the project ensures that their opinions and perspectives are central to the work being conducted and inform project outputs.

Within each demonstration area, Marine SABRES research focuses specifically on a local issue. In Macaronesia, for example, the research is centred around biodiversity restoration and the benefits of ecotourism, while in the Tuscan Archipelago, the work examines the impacts of tourism on seagrass meadows. 

At Hafrannsóknastofnun, insights from project partners in the Arctic-Northeast Atlantic area on shared management challenges for the fishing industry in Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, where overfishing is dangerously high and the ranges of important fish stocks such as herring, mackerel, and blue whiting are shifting due to climate change, were presented and discussed. Some local stakeholders of the Arctic demonstration area, Lísa Anne Libungan of Fisheries Iceland, and Thor Sigfusson from Iceland Ocean Cluster attended the meeting. Partners had also the opportunity to receive a tour from Thor of the Ocean Cluster House, a unique space in Reykjavik for entrepreneurs and businesses in marine industries. 

Marine SABRES look forward to updating you on the progress of the project, as partners identify opportunities to better implement ecosystem-based management and develop pathways to transformation for a biodiverse & sustainable future!


The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.