The precursor of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) International Fisheries Section (IFS) was a Special Committee on AFS Internationalism, which was formed by Past President Cam Stevenson in 1975 to stimulate greater international communication via symposia, joint meetings, and articles in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society and Fisheries (see Box 1). This committee also considered the feasibility of forming an AFS international subunit, a more inclusive name for the Society, a Mexican chapter, publishing journal abstracts in Spanish and Portuguese, publication donations, sponsoring AFS memberships, and formal liaisons with other professional fisheries societies. In 1986, the Internationalism Special Committee focused on establishing an international fisheries section, discussing the feasibility of a world fisheries congress, establishing an international fisheries scientist award, and increasing communication with fisheries scientists in developing countries…read more in the full Fisheries article. Below is a quote from the 4th issue of Fisheries magazine in 1976. It comes from editor Carl Sullivan and gives us a glimpse into the storied history of the American Fisheries Society.

2021. Welcomed first recipients of the OLAF International Membership Award
2020. Hosted Virtual conference and business meeting in response to COVID-19 travel restrictions
2020. Notified of successful bid to host the 2024 World Fisheries Congress Conference in Seattle
2019. Updated Low and Middle Income Country (LMIC) AFS membership category
2019. Welcomed first AFS International Chapter, Egypt
2019. Launched Country Profiles series in Fisheries
2016. Sponsored Collaborations in Managing and Conserving Large River Basin Fishery Resources and Environment at the Kansas City AFS Annual Meeting
2016. Sponsored NoWPaS International Wild Salmonid Research Workshop, Quebec
2016. Third International Fisheries Science Prize awarded to Ray Hilborn at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, Korea
2015. Led the elimination of higher AFS membership fees for international scientists (except for those living in developing countries) and the provision for reduced AFS Annual Meeting registration fees for members from developing nations
2015. Sponsored Standard Methods for Sampling Freshwater Fishes: Opportunities for International Collaboration at the AFS Portland Annual Meeting
2015. Contributed to program planning for the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission’s symposium on recreational fishing in Lillehammer, Norway
2014. Provided funding and trade show oversight for the Western Division annual meeting in Mazatlan
2014. Supported travel for international speakers in three symposia: Dam Impacts on Fishery Resources; Jawless Fishes of the World; and Reproductive Behavior and Recruitment in Marine Fishes at the Quebec City AFS Annual Meeting
2013–2015. Supported formal agreements and president exchanges between AFS and the Australian Society for Fisheries Biology, Brazilian Society of Ichthyology, China Society of Fisheries, Fisheries Society of the British Isles, Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, and Korean Society of Fisheries and Aquatic Science
2012. Second International Fisheries Science Prize awarded to Ian Cowx at the World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh, U.K.
2009. Sponsored Tag 2008 in Auckland, New Zealand
2008. First International Fisheries Science Prize awarded to Kurt Fausch at the World Fisheries Congress in Yokohama, Japan
2006. Established the International Fisheries Science Prize
2006. AFS Mexico Chapter formed, with support of Western Division and IFS
2005. Sponsored Science Bridging Five Nations: The Bering–Aleutian Salmon International Survey with the Genetics Section at the AFS Anchorage Annual Meeting
2004–2005. Coordinated AFS Indonesian tsunami relief efforts
2004. Co-sponsored the World Fisheries Congress in Vancouver, BC, Canada
2004. Established the International (Developing Countries) Membership Fund
2004. Proposed reduced membership fees for persons from developing countries
2002. Led AFS Governing Board retreat: Devising a Strategy for AFS International Activities: Putting the Pieces Together
2001. Established the International Fisheries Endowment Fund
2001. Sponsored a variety of Mexican presentations integrated throughout the program at the AFS Phoenix Annual Meeting
2000. Sponsored International Conference on Wood in the World’s Rivers in Corvallis, Oregon
1999. Organized first North America/China symposium for the AFS Charlotte Annual Meeting
1997. Sponsored Biology of Fisheries for Sharks in the Mexican–Pacific and Adjacent Areas of the Eastern Pacific Ocean at the AFS Monterey Annual Meeting
1995. Sponsored three symposia assisting 75 individuals from Mexico, Cuba, and Central and South America to participate in the AFS Tampa Annual Meeting
1993. Sponsored Spotlight on Fisheries Resources of the North Pacific at the AFS Portland Annual Meeting
1993. Organized the Bridge to Mexico program to increase interactions among Mexican and other North American fishery scientists
1992. Organized State of the World’s Fisheries: Report of the World Fisheries Congress at the AFS Rapid City Annual Meeting
1992. Led the formation of the first World Fisheries Congress, held in Athens, Greece
1992. Completed Directory of Mexican Fisheries Biologists and Ichthyologists
1991. Established the Sullivan Memorial Membership Award to assist AFS memberships and annual meeting participation by non– North American fishery scientists
1991. Sponsored Management of Highly Migratory Atlantic Swordfish and Mexican Fisheries: Exemplary Studies and Opportunities for Collaborations at the AFS San Antonio Annual Meeting
1990. Sponsored Pan-Caribbean Fisheries: The Needs and Opportunities for Communication at the AFS Pittsburgh Annual Meeting
1988. Organized Fisheries Management in Developing Countries: Problems and Opportunities for the AFS Toronto Annual Meeting
1987. International Fisheries Section formed
1975. AFS President Cam Stevenson established Special Committee on AFS Internationalism