The 36th CIESM Congress was held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte-Carlo, from 24 to 28 September 2001. It was the first time in 27 years that the Congress had returned to the Principality of Monaco.

The Congress was attended by over 550 scientists from 31 countries. Its scientific program was extensive, touching on all aspects of marine sciences. The congressists were able to take part in many receptions and enjoyed a memorable concert given by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Marek Janowski.

Among the highlights of the week :

Monaco, in the person of Prince Albert, was elected unanimously by secret ballot to the Presidence of CIESM, for a six-year term.

Legend: the new President of CIESM, H.S.H. Prince Albert, with his father, H.S.H. Prince Rainier III, and the Director General, Prof. Frederic Briand: the President was elected (by secret ballot) at the unanimity of the Member States.

Until 2004, year of the next congress, the CIESM 'Comité Restreint', elected by the Board, shall be composed of France, Israel, Italy, Monaco, Morocco, Romania, Spain and Switzerland.

The many researchers present chose, by secret ballot, the chairs of their scientific committees. Were elected :

  • Dr Jean Mascle (France), chair, committee C1;
  • Prof. Alex Lascaratos (Greece), chair, committee C2;
  • Prof. Nicholas Fisher (USA), chair, committee C3;
  • Prof. Gerhard Herndl (Austria), chair, committee C4;
  • Prof. Angelo Tursi (Italy), chair, committee C5;
  • Dr Bella Galil (Israel), head, sub-committee on Marine Ecosystems;
  • Prof. Kostas Stergiou (Greece), head, sub-committee on Living Resources;
  • Prof. Ferdinando Boero (Italy), chair, committee C6.
In addition the following nominations are in effect for the period 2001-2004:
  • CIESM Task Force on Mediterranean Mussel Watch
    coordinator: Dr Hervé Thébault (France);
  • CIESM Task Force on Marine Mammals
    coordinator: Dr Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara (Italy);
  • CIESM Contact Group on Monitoring Hydrological Trends
    coordinator: Dr Claude Millot (France).

There were many productive round-table sessions. Brief reports are available for:

  • Cartographie multifaisceaux - prochaines étapes;
  • Bio-monitoring des contaminants-trace;
  • Recent changes in Mediterranean biota - Atlas trends;
  • MedGloss Pilot network;
  • Mediterranean water mass acronyms;
  • Pollution and marine environments - emerging issues;
  • Zooming in on microbial life in the sea;
  • New technologies for mapping coastal communities;
  • Priorities of Mediterranean cetacean research;
  • Marine protected areas;
  • Effective monitoring of marine climate changes.
The best poster prize was awarded to Dr Geneviève Lacroix, from the University of Liège, for her communication on Ecosystem response to the atmospheric forcing in the Southern Ligurian Sea in 1997 - 1999. The jury (i.e. the chairs of the six committees) was particularly sensitive to the interdisciplinarity of this work and to its international co-authorship (Belgian, Russian and Algerian).
Legend (photo above): the winner of the Best Poster Prize, Dr Geneviève Lacroix, surrounded by Prince Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco and by the members of the Jury. One recognizes from left to right, around the three central figures: François Doumenge (Secretary General), Salim Djenidi, Scott Fowler, Alex Lascaratos, Costas Papaconstantinou, Ferdinando Boero, Frederic Briand (Director General) and Jean Mascle.
The closing of the Congress was marked by a magnificent reception offered by the departing CIESM President. It extended over three floors of the historic Oceanographic Museum, from the Coral Reef Aquaria to the outstanding whale collections.
Legend (photo above): toast given by the Secretary General, Prof. François Doumenge, with Members of the CIESM Board at his side, to honor the past President and welcome the new President of the Commission. Photo taken during the closing reception offered at the Oceanographic Museum.