Bylaws of the International Fisheries Section of the American Fisheries Society

Adopted August 1987; latest amendments December 2018.

Abigail J. Lynch, President 2018-19         Steven J. Cooke, President 2017-18


The Section is organized exclusively for, and will be operated exclusively for, educational and scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.


Upon the dissolution of the Section, all assets shall be distributed to the American Fisheries Society, a section 501(c)(3) organization, for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. At the time of dissolution, if the American Fisheries Society is not qualified as an exempt organization, not in existence, or unwilling or unable to accept the assets of the Section, all assets shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

Article I. Name and Objectives

  1. The name of this organization shall be the International Fisheries Section of the American Fisheries Society, hereinafter referred to as the Section and Society, respectively.
  2. The general objectives of the Section are those of the Society as set forth in the Society’s Constitution.  The specific objectives are to:
  3. Promote and support worldwide fisheries conservation, education, and research;
  4. Increase the awareness of North American and associated insular fisheries scientists of the interests, needs, and contributions of their colleagues worldwide;
  5. Increase awareness and cooperation of the Society and its members in international fisheries; and
  6. Assist the international exchange of information, including the provision of technical advice, among fishery workers of all nations.

 Article II. Membership and Dues

  1. Membership in the Section shall be open to all individual or institutional members of the Society in good standing who pay the annual Section dues in accordance with their membership category .
  2. The Executive Committee may determine, by a 2/3-majority vote, all Section dues, fees, and charges.
  3. Only active members of the Society may vote, hold office, or chair a committee.

Article III. Officers

  1. The officers of the Section shall be the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, collectively referred to as the Executive Committee (see Article V).  The Secretary and Treasurer positions may be filled either separately or as a combined single position.
  2. All officers shall serve for a term of one year except the Secretary and Treasurer who will each serve two years.
  3. No officer shall hold the same office for consecutive complete terms except the Secretary and Treasurer, who may hold office for multiple consecutive terms.  Past officers may again hold the same office after the lapse of at least one complete term or may serve to complete a term of a position that was vacated between terms.
  4. New officers will be installed at the annual meeting.
  5. Officers serve without salary or other compensation for their services.  Expenses may be defrayed from funds available to the Section when authorized by the Executive Committee.

Article IV. Duties of Officers

  1. The President shall:
  2. Chair the Executive Committee of the Section;
  3. Preside at the business meetings of the Section;
  4. Appoint all Committee members, and serve as an ex-officio member thereof;
  5. Represent the Section as a member of the Society’s Governing Board;
  6. Oversee the Section’s fiduciary responsibility by communicating with the Treasurer to ensure that the Section’s funds are managed appropriately and that required IRS reporting is completed annually;
  7. Ensure that the Section website is updated;
  8. Provide electronic updates to members at least twice per year;
  9. Report annually to the President and Executive Director of the Society on Section activities and funds; and
  10. Perform other duties and functions as authorized and necessary.
  11. The President-Elect shall:
  12. Perform the duties of President in the absence of the President;
  13. Assume the office of the President in the event that the office is vacated;
  14. Accede to the Presidency upon completion of the term of President-Elect
  15. Prepare a President’s annual work plan before taking office as President; and
  16. Perform other duties as may be required by the Executive Committee.
  17. The Immediate Past-President shall:
  18. Assist the other officers as needed;
  19. Nominate candidates for President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer for approval of the Executive Committee; and
  20. Perform other duties as may be required by the Executive Committee.
  21. The Secretary shall:
  22. Keep the official records of the Section;
  23. Maintain a current list of the Section membership;
  24. Oversee any voting activities of the Section;
  25. Submit minutes of the annual Section business meeting to the Executive Director within 30 days after the meeting is held;
  26.  Assist the President in preparing the annual report to the Society; and
  27. Perform other duties as may be required by the Executive Committee.
  28. The Treasurer shall:
  29. Collect and be custodian of Section funds;
  30. Disperse funds as authorized by the Executive Committee;
  31. Submit a record of receipts and disbursements at the annual Section business meeting and to the Executive Director of the Society within 30 days after said meeting;
  32. Complete required IRS reporting on an annual basis; and
  33. Perform other duties as may be required by the Executive Committee.

Article V. Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Section.
  2. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to determine policies and conduct business consistent with the objectives of the Section.
  3. The Executive Committee shall recommend grants annually from the Carl R. Sullivan International Endowment Fund.
  4. Meetings of the Executive Committee may be held at the call of the President when a majority of the committee members can meet and conduct business.
  5. Business and voting by the Executive Committee may be conducted electronically.
  6. A quorum is required for transaction of official business at an Executive Committee meeting.  A quorum for an Executive Committee meeting shall consist of at least three members.
  7. Each member of the Executive Committee shall have one vote on Executive Committee decisions.  In the event of a tie, the President’s vote shall be the deciding vote.

Article VI. Meetings

  1. The Section shall hold at least one business meeting annually in conjunction with the Society annual meeting.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the President with the consent of the Section Executive Committee.
  3. Executive Committee meetings and the Section business meetings may be joined in person or remotely.

Article VII. Voting and Quorum

  1. Decisions at Section business meetings and on behalf of the Society shall be in accordance with the Society Constitution.
  2. A quorum at business meetings shall be at least ten members of the Section.
  3. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all applicable cases not covered by these Bylaws.
  4. Candidates for office will be nominated by a Nominating Committee, comprised of at least three members and chaired by the Immediate Past-President.
  5. Balloting shall be completed at least two months before the annual meeting of the Section by either mail or electronic media.
  6. Officers shall be elected by a simple majority of the returned ballots.  Proper care will be taken to ensure confidentiality and anonymity of both mail and electronic ballots.  In the case of a tie vote, the election will be decided by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.
  7. In the event of a vacated position, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified replacement for the remainder of the term.

Article VIII. Removal from Office

  1. Removal of an officer from office for just cause will require a two-thirds vote of Executive Committee members or a two-thirds vote of members at a meeting of the membership.

Article IX. Committees

  1. Committees and Chairs of committees, except as listed in Articles III and IV of these Bylaws, shall be appointed and charged by the President.
  2. Special Committees serve to accomplish a specific purpose and shall cease to function upon the discharge of the duties for which they were appointed or with the end of the term of the appointing officer.
  3. Standing Committees help the President and the Executive Committee conduct the Section’s affairs, and the chairs shall report their committees’ activities, findings, and recommendations at Section meetings and interim meetings of the Executive Committee.
  4. The following standing committees composed of Section members in good standing shall be appointed by the President together with their chairpersons, who are expected to change periodically:
  5. Communications Committee (CC).  The CC shall be responsible for maintaining the Section’s website and social media presence.  The Committee may issue standards and instructions to the membership to facilitate its work and solicit contributions.  The Committee shall consist of a Webmaster and Social Media Chair, and other Section members as necessary and appointed by the President.
  6. The American Fisheries Society – Fisheries Society of the British Isles Student Exchange Committee (AFS-FSBI Exchange Committee).  Each year the Commitee selects a student or young professional member of the Society to attend and present at the annual meeting of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles. The Commitee members will include three past award winners, who will revolve off the Committee at the end of their third year on the Committee.
  7. The International Fisheries Science Prize Committee (IFSPC; active in a four-year cycle with the World Fisheries Congress). The IFSPC will recommend the IFSP recipient to the Section Executive Committee.  The President will forward the name of the recipient to the President and Secretary-General of the World Council of Fisheries Societies. IFSPC members will be appointed by the President to represent the member societies of the World Council of Fisheries Societies (the committee is intended to be diverse, but there is no requirement for every society on the World Council to have a committee appointment).  See International Fisheries Science Prize terms of reference for more information.

Article X. International Chapters

  1. Chapters residing outside the geographic boundaries of the Society Division structure (i.e., North Central Division, Northeastern Division, Southern Division, Western Division) will be housed within the Section.
  2. International chapters provide an opportunity for AFS members beyond the Division structure of the Society to organize and convene with the intent to advance the Society’s objectives in a more localized area.
  3. An International Chapter shall:
  4. Operate autonomously under its own Chapter bylaws; and
  5. Submit a report on Chapter activities to the IFS Executive Committee at least annually immediately prior to the Section business meeting.

Article XI. Amendment of Bylaws

  1. The bylaws are the defining document for the Section and take precedence over all other rules and procedures of the Section.
  2. The Section bylaws may be amended by a vote of 2/3 of the Section members voting on the amendment, provided that the proposed amendment(s) are circulated to the membership at least 30 days prior to voting.
  3. In accordance with the Society’s Constitution, an amendment shall be reviewed by the Society’s Constitutional Consultant prior to the Section’s vote for conformity with the Constitution, Rules and Procedures of the Society.
  4. The Constitutional Consultant presents the adopted amendment to the Society Management Committee for approval.
  5. Amendments take effect when the Section receives written notice of their approval by the Management Committee from the Society Executive Director.

Article XII. Amendment of Procedures

  1. Procedures are the lowest level of documentation of Section operations.  They are generally established to provide continuity in the conduct of Section business.
  2. The procedures may be suspended or amended by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.