AFS Annual Meeting SES Sponsored Symposiums

At the 2020 Annual AFS Meeting, we are sponsoring two symposiums!

Symposium 1: The Effect of Human-driven Environmental Change on the Socioeconomic Aspects of Fisheries Management

Description: Human-driven environmental change can affect fisheries by impacting productivity, fish habitat, fish distribution, fish catchability, and biodiversity. During environmental change, fisheries that already pose complicated management challenges must adapt to meet biological, economic, and social objectives. Often, the focus is on the biological objectives, not social or economic objectives. Fisheries management can fail from inadequate scientific advice, but it is often difficult to identify reference points, especially with environmental change. Managers and fishers must use an approach, even with large uncertainties in the outcome, that is appropriate for future rather than past environmental conditions. Fishing behavior may also change as a result of environmental change, and this needs to be considered in management plans. To address the issue of human-driven environmental change, environmental parameters need to be integrated into management frameworks. This symposium aims to highlight how fisheries management, with a focus on the socioeconomic aspects, has adapted to environmental change. This can include but is not limited to changes in fishing behavior, target species, management frameworks, management regulations, management objectives, reference points, and stakeholder engagement. This symposium will address the progress and future of fisheries management under environmental change, including existing as well as novel approaches to fisheries management.

Organizers: Mackenzie Mazur (, Joshua Etherton, Aaron Sundmark, Syma Ebbin, and Christopher Dumas

Symposium 2: A Fisheries Biologist’s Guide to Using Human Dimensions Data (Including Data You Didn’t Know You Had)

Description: Natural resource agencies often collect human dimensions data, but staff may not realize these datasets are available or how to maximize their potential. This symposium will demonstrate how to identify and use these data to improve fisheries management and guide decision-making. It will conclude with a free workshop-style session in which participants learn specific analytical techniques with experts. In fisheries, human dimensions examines knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward fisheries that have significant socioeconomic and policy implications. For example, a typical creel survey includes zip codes, implying a distance traveled and a time and financial investment by the angler. Travel behavior can be mapped across space/time or linked to explanatory variables. Alternatively, a mailed survey may poll opinions on potential management actions or test knowledge regarding fish contaminants. With survey results, opinions can be weighed, predicted, and even mapped to identify areas of concern. Public attitudes can be combined with stock assessment to predict the fishery impact of a slot limit change. With human dimensions data, fascinating and important questions can be answered to develop better management strategies, but require a few steps beyond summarizing averages. This symposium will introduce techniques and tangible examples of transforming these data into powerful information.

Organizers: Rebecca M. Krogman, Mackenzie Mazur, Aaron Sundmark, Allen D. Martin and Joshua Etherton

AFS SES Business Meetings

2020 Business Meeting: September 28 from 1 pm to 2 pm EST. 

We will discuss past events and the future direction of the section, including future symposia ideas and the section exhibit for the 2021 AFS annual meeting.
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

2019 Business Meeting: October 1, 2019 Meeting Minutes