Jane Sullivan

Greetings FSBI Members!

Each year two of the world’s largest professional fisheries organizations, the FSBI and the American Fisheries Society (AFS), exchange early career professionals at their annual meetings to promote sharing of ideas, research, and relationship-building between the two societies.

I traveled to the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the FSBI on July 3-7, 2017 as the 2017 International Fisheries Section of AFS Fellow. I hail from Juneau, Alaska, where I’m currently finishing a fellowship with Alaska Sea Grant as a fishery analyst for NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Office. I wanted to share some highlights from my travels and the conference:

  • I traveled over 23,000 km to attend FSBI, yet I was struck at how small the global fisheries community is. I met several delegates (Georgina Hunt, Olaf Weyl, and John Piccolo) who have professional and personal ties to Alaskan fisheries. These encounters highlighted the importance of creating and maintaining friendships with scientists from around the world.
  • The warm welcome I received from Drs. Steve Simpson and Iain Barber. I truly appreciated their hospitality, hard work in organizing the conference, and interest in fostering relationships between the FSBI and AFS.
  • The afternoon high teas! This was my first encounter with clotted cream, and I’ve been going 1through withdrawals ever since.
  • Morning runs through the grounds of the University of Exeter campus. The weather July 3-7 was particularly lovely in Exeter, and I enjoyed a dose of cool air in the morning before the sun came out.
  • The international delegates from 26 countries. It was amazing interacting with such a diverse group of scientists from around the world.
  • The afternoon session celebrating 50 years of the FSBI. In particular, I enjoyed hearing snippets of interviews with FSBI founders during historian Sally Horrocks’ presentation.
  • The views of rolling, sheep-spotted hills from Holland Hall. For those of you who met me during the conference, you will probably remember how enamored I was with the sheep – we don’t have any in Alaska!
  • The Festival Banquet in the Great Hall. In addition to great food, good company, and an engaging (and at times controversial!) talk by Charles Clover, the highlight for me was the announcement of Professor Sydney Holt as the recipient of the Beverton Medal. I was moved by the detailed account of his life’s work and achievements, as well as his sustained passion for our world’s marine resources.

I’m extremely grateful to the FSBI community and conference organizers for allowing me to attend and present at this conference. I strongly believe in the benefits of building and maintaining strong relationships in the global fisheries community and hope to see you again at future events!


Jane Sullivan