University Of Gibraltar Hosts First Virtual INCISE Conference

 The University of Gibraltar will be hosting INCISE 2021 virtually later this  month. INCISE is a five-day conference all about submarine canyons that brings together deep-sea researchers from across the world. 

A statement from the University of Gibraltar follows below:

Submarine canyons act as a link between shallow water environments and the deep sea.  They are extremely important for biodiversity since they act as nursery habitats and hotspots  for sea life.  

“Canyons are biodiversity hotspots harbouring many vulnerable species such as deep-sea  corals, which can be thousands of years old. These vulnerable habitats are experiencing the  effects of human-induced impacts such as from destructive fishing practices, as well as  climate change," says Dr Jaime Davies, INCISE co-founder.  

The event takes place online and includes a talk by University of Gibraltar alumni, Ivan  Hernandez. Mr Hernandez will be presenting on his Masters Dissertation topic, marine litter  in submarine canyons, both during the main conference and during the public engagement  event as well.  

Dr Awantha Dissanayake, Head of the University of Gibraltar’s School of Marine Science  said, “Ivan is the first Gibraltarian to go beyond 1800 m (albeit virtually). For his Master’s  dissertation he evaluated the abundance of marine litter in deep water canyons off the UK  continental shelf – this involved reviewing hours of footage taken by remote underwater  video.  

“The University of Gibraltar is proud to host INCISE 2021 conference bringing together deep  sea scientists across the world. The Bay of Gibraltar has a submarine canyon system and is  as deep as the top of the Rock is as high and is yet unstudied. Through this network we will  collaborate with scientists to find out more about important deep water habitats such as that  found on our own doorstep,” Dr Dissanayake added.  

The public engagement event is open to everyone and takes place on Wednesday  16th June (1pm-2pm CEST). It will be an interesting virtual talk from various world-leading  experts and will be of interest to both academics and non-academics. It would also be a  great way to get teenagers interested in marine science.  

The public engagement event will cover important topics of the sea, such as ghost nets from  fishing and micro-plastics. This will be of interest to anyone with a passion for the  environment as well as those in the marine science field. Around the world, the marine  environment is exploited for many resources such as oil, gas and fisheries to name but a few  and it will be possible for people to learn more about the situation and what we can do to  protect the marine environment against threats such as these.