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Marine Program Meetings

7th International Marine Conservation Congress

Cape Town, South Africa
October 13-18, 2024

The Society for Conservation Biology Marine Program is excited to announce that the 7th International Marine Conservation Congress will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from October 13-18, 2024.

The call for proposals for symposia and workshops will open in November 2023.   

Details soon - stay tuned.


6th International Marine Conservation Congress

Online - August 2020

5th International Marine Conservation Congress

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
June 22 - 29, 2018

To conserve the world’s oceans we must go beyond science, and use it to inform policy and management, and ultimately to catalyze change. The Society for Conservation Biology's International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) brings together conservation professionals and students to develop new and powerful tools to further marine conservation science and policy.

With over 700 marine conservation professionals and students in attendance, IMCC is the most important international event for anyone involved in marine conservation.

The 5th International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC5)  was held in the beautiful city of Kuching in Sarawak! This conference broughtl together marine conservationists from many walks of life including but not limited to marine conservation scientists, practitioners, teachers, policy makers, and journalists. Thank you for joining us in the middle of the Indo-Pacific as we came together to help "Make Marine Science Matter!"

4th International Marine Conservation Congress
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (YYT)
30 July - 3 August 2016

To conserve the world's oceans we must go beyond science, and use it to inform policy and management, to ultimately catalyze change. Hosted by the Marine Program of the Society for Conservation Biology, IMCCs bring together conservation professionals and students to develop new and powerful tools to further marine conservation science and policy.


3rd International Marine Conservation Congress
Glasgow, Scotland
14-19 August 2014

IMCC3 was a major success, bringing together hundreds of marine science and marine conservation professionals in Scotland. Plenary Speaker Dr. Heather Koldewey and talks at the IMCC3 inspired the hashtag: #OceanOptimism.



The 1st International Marine Conservation Think Tank
Auckland, New Zealand
2-5 December 2011

The Marine Program hosted a special set of marine themed focus groups, designed to address specific problems on marine conservation issues of special concern for the southern hemisphere. These meetings were held immediately prior to the SCB global meeting in Auckland, New Zealand

Fourteen meetings took place:

Antarctic issues

  • Predicting ecosystem change in Antarctic ecosystems

Reefs in crisis  

  • Social resilience and adaptation in coral reef communities

MPA effectiveness

  • The role of prioritisation in Marine Protected Area designation
  • Quantifying the effectiveness of community-managed marine protected areas in Oceania
  • Big Ocean Network: A research agenda and science dissemination strategy for large scale MPAs
  • Sea change: a campaign to increase support and activism for marine protected areas
  • Pelagic ecosystems and the management of MPAs

Deep sea ecosystems        

  • Deep-sea coral research to enhance conservation

Marine wildlife tourism and small, isolated populations

  • Steps to success in research and management of by-catch and other marine conservation issues
  • Marine mammal/tourism interactions

High seas governance

  • Science requirements for effective High Seas governance

Sustainable fisheries

  • Fisheries management: the science, conservation and management


  • Improving global marine biodiversity assessments
  • Ocean governance in Aotearoa New Zealand

The Marine Program of the Society for Conservation Biology hosted the 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC2) from 14-18 May 2011 at the Victoria Convention Centre, British Columbia, Canada.

Themes for this conference included:

  • Innovative techniques and technology for marine conservation;
  • The Human dimension for marine conservation;
  • Advancing marine conservation through International treaties;
  • The changing Arctic;
  • Marine conservation awareness and outreach;
  • Climate and the changing oceans;
  • Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;
  • Conservation at the land/sea interface; and
  • Effective Marine Spatial Planning

During interactive symposia and workshops, we challenged participants to go beyond one-way communication. Each of these sessions addressed specific topics within major themes and developed innovative solutions to current conservation challenges. Symposium organizers invited a select group of speakers and devised creative ways to facilitate discussion. Workshops consisted of multi-disciplinary teams focused on crafting policy and management recommendations, briefings, conservation action plans, white papers or peer-reviewed publications.

The Congress opened on May 14th with an IMCC & COMPASS reception where attendees got a taste for what’s to come at IMCC. Leading scientists kicked off the conference with insightful overviews of the new science and big ideas we’ll be exploring. The event concluded on the evening of May 18th with a closing party at the Strathcona Hotel located a block from the Conference Center. 

The 1st International Marine Conservation Congress was held on 20-24 May 2009 at George Mason University near Washington D.C.  The meeting brought over 1,200 scientists, managers and policy-makers together, with over 16 simultaneous conference sessions, symposia and workshops, and over a twenty associated events, training sessions and activities, making it one of the largest academic marine conservation conferences ever held.