During 4–6 September 1991, the Scientific Council held a Symposium on "Changes in Abundance and Biology of Cod Stocks and Their Possible Causes", with H. Hovgård (Denmark, in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland) as convener. At its meeting in September 1989, the Scientific Council initially agreed to host the 1991 Special Session on Atlantic Cod, and was pleased to welcome R. (Dick) Wells, the well-known Canadian expert on gadoid biology and fishery management science, to convene a Symposium. With the sad, untimely death of Dick Wells in December 1989, the Council was pleased Hovgård agreed to convene the session, and new ideas on the theme and specific topics were considered. The Council decided to dedicate the Symposium in memory of Dick Wells.
Interest in the contributions to the Symposium resulted in the Scientific Council recommendation that papers presented should be published in full or as extended abstracts in a special issue of, with H. Hovgård and T. Amaratunga undertaking the editorial review of the papers.