Balancing Modern Science and Traditional Use to Rebuild Columbia River Salmon, Sturgeon, and Lamprey

Salmon are one of the most important aspects of the cultures of the Indigenous peoples of the Columbia River Basin.  They are rightly called Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum (Salmon People) for how completely the sacred fish shaped religion, culture, diets, and societies, and continue to do so today.  First Foods of water, fish, big game, roots, and berries connect native people to the landscape in a relationship of reciprocity. The connection dates from time immemorial to the present day. Technology has changed but the promise of providing stewardship to the First Foods continues. This symposium seeks to share stories of salmon history, hatcheries, harvest, habitat and First Foods restoration efforts from tribes and partners.

Organizer: Doug Hatch, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, [email protected]

Co-organizer: Donella Miller

Supported by: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Beyond the Lab: How Can We Use Physiology to Inform Conservation?

Fishes face a wide array of anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., climate change, urbanization, and competition with human-introduced species) which invariably affects how they function in their habitats, with conspecifics, and within their community. These disturbances can affect an organism’s physiology, which dictates how it interacts with its surrounding environment. A mechanistic understanding of these responses from the molecular level to the whole animal can then be integrated into conservation strategies, whether that be controlling human-introduced species, rebuilding at-risk populations, or predicting community shifts with climate change. In this session we will highlight successful tools, innovative techniques, and productive cross-discipline collaborations that leverage physiology studies in the lab (and the field) for science-driven solutions.

Organizer: Angelina Dichiera, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, [email protected]

Co-organizer: Madison Earhart

Building Fisheries Science Partnerships between Fisheries Commissions and the U.S. Geological Survey

Presentations in this symposium highlight ways fisheries commissions, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and their partners are working together on fisheries priorities in the Great Lakes and on U.S. Coasts, foster inter-regional learning, and explore whether inter-regional approaches to common challenges are feasible. Regionally based fisheries commissions play a unique role in supporting species management across jurisdictions, coordinating data collection, science, and management. The USGS and other partners deliver science and tools for addressing the most vexing questions facing aquatic resources. As the Department of Interior science bureau, the USGS plays an important role within the partnership in that it exercises no management authority. These partners rely on each other for producing the best available science. Presentations here highlight fisheries commission-USGS collaborations, including those with additional partners, and can focus on any number of fisheries science topics.

Organizer: Joshua Miller, US Geological Survey, [email protected]

Co-organizer: Rachel Reagan

Supported by: U.S. Geological Survey and the Great Lakes, Atlantic States, Gulf States, and Pacific States fisheries commissions

Catch the Wave: Building Foundations for Success in Fisheries Careers

In collaboration with the Student & Early Career Professionals Subsection of The Education Section of The American Fisheries Society, our symposium focuses on empowering early career professionals (ECPs) in fisheries. Seasoned fisheries professionals will present on vital skills like effective communication, adaptability, leadership, and resilience, essential for ECPs to thrive in the dynamic fisheries landscape. Attendees can anticipate practical insights and strategies for networking, time management, and conflict resolution. The session extends beyond skill development to showcase diverse career paths in academia, industry, consulting, government, and non-governmental organizations. Distinguished ECPs from these sectors will share experiences, advice, and recommendations, fostering a valuable learning experience. The symposium encourages active engagement, offering an open forum for students and ECPs to interact with speakers. Join us for this collaborative effort to navigate early career success in the vibrant field of fisheries. Supported by the Student & Early Career Professionals Subsection of The Education Section of The American Fisheries Society.

Organizer: Carrianne Pershyn, Student and Early Career Professionals Subsection, President-Elect, [email protected]

Celebrating Indigenous Fisheries Stewardship

Globally, Indigenous communities, including Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiians), have practiced sustainable stewardship in their territories, exemplified by successful, high-yield fisheries predating European contact. Employing culturally informed stewardship practices, Indigenous Peoples developed deep, place-based ecological knowledge that is crucial for flourishing aquatic ecosystems. Despite the effectiveness of this stewardship, assimilative and colonial policies disrupted these practices. This session at AFS aims to amplify Indigenous voices, focusing on programming that highlights how Indigenous knowledge (IK) can enable the restoration, maintenance, or enhancement of aquatic ecosystems. Contributions will share best stewardship practices, successful outcomes, and lessons learned, aligning with the conference theme of “Conserving Fishes and Fishing Traditions through Knowledge Co-Production.” By centering and celebrating Indigenous fisheries stewardship, the session contributes to the global recognition of the vital role Indigenous Peoples play in sustainable ecosystem stewardship.

Organizer: Sara Cannon, University of British Columbia, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Cecil Jennings, Shivonne Nesbit, Alexander Duncan, Nakoa Goo, Lian Guo, Jory Jonas, Kawika Winter, McLean Worsham

Supported by: AFS, International Fisheries Section of AFS, University of British Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries, California Sea Grant, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

Centering Fisher Questions and Collaboration in Research and Conservation

Fishers and other resource users are often the target group when developing and implementing conservation and management actions but are not always involved in the research process. This exclusion, even if unintentional, can lead to distrust in scientific findings or a lack of support for conservation actions. Involving fishers from the start of the research process, by centering projects on fisher questions and collaborating on data collection, can lead to more successful outcomes. Through open communication and involvement, respect for fisher knowledge, and the co-production of new knowledge, fishers become advocates for conservation instead of the targets of it. This session will highlight examples of effective collaborations with fishers and other resource users, and strategies for achieving desired outcomes for multiple stakeholder groups.

Organizer: Eric Schneider, Cape Eleuthera Institute, [email protected]

Supported by: Cape Eleuthera Institute

Championing Underdogs: Managing Imperiled Species Despite Political and Social Challenges

Marine species around the globe face an array of natural and anthropogenic stressors that reduce their long-term population viability. When these species have perceived value, typically accompanied by a positive public image, galvanizing social and political interest to protect and restore them faces little resistance. For species with less clearly defined direct value to humans, a negative public image, and/or for which minimal data are available, securing support and funding can be far more complicated. This session will provide examples of how support was garnered for the successful conservation of underappreciated and/or less well known marine species through dedicated public messaging campaigns, leveraging of collaborative partnerships, engagement of novel community-interest groups, innovative approaches to defining poorly understood species, and other methods.

Organizer: Dayv Lowry, NOAA Fisheries, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Jamey Selleck, Robert Anderson, Chelsey Young, Adam Brame, Orian Tzadik

Supported by: NOAA Fisheries

Climate, Collaboration, & Community: Cascading Effects and Pathways Forward

Coastal communities are at the frontlines of climate change. These communities sit at the confluence of climate-driven coastal hazards, ecological changes, and underlying social and economic vulnerabilities. Given the pace and scope of expected climate effects, there is a pressing need for strong collaborative research to understand, plan for, and respond to climate impacts on coastal communities. This session invites talks highlighting social science efforts working in collaboration with communities to better understand, inform, and advance social-ecological resilience of coastal communities in the face of changing climate conditions. This includes: bridging diverse knowledge systems to understand climate effects; studies of shifting fishing behavior and adaptation strategies; novel approaches to understanding adaptation barriers and resilience; lessons learned from adaptation planning. The goal of the session is to share lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities to support capacity for resilience in coastal communities.

Organizer: Sarah Wise, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Marysia Szymkowiak, Jennifer Dopkowski

Supported by: Alaska Fisheries Science Center-NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center-NOAA, Climate and Fisheries Adaptation Program Oceanic and Atmospheric Research – NOAA

Coastal Systems in Flux: Fish and Fisheries in a Multi-stressor World

Many coastal and estuarine ecosystems worldwide are becoming increasingly degraded. Several intertwining factors including warming, eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, hypoxic events, ocean acidification, and habitat degradation and loss pose significant threats to the management and conservation of fish species. While the co-production of knowledge investigating these impacts by scientists, managers, and fishers has led to an increased ecological understanding, the development of new tools, and an overall refining of management approaches, these systems are constantly evolving requiring near continuous research effort. The objectives of this symposium are to 1) highlight the most recent and pertinent research in these areas, 2) learn from successful partnerships amongst stakeholders, and 3) chart future directions for knowledge co-production amongst communities, fisheries scientists and ecosystem managers. We aim to elicit broad discussion and draw contributions from a diversity of leading experts, young professionals, and students who are actively advancing this discipline of fisheries science.

Organizer: Konstantine Rountos, Department of Biology, St. Joseph’s University, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Abigail Archer, Howard Townsend

Supported by: AFS Estuaries Section and Marine Fisheries Section

Collaborative Science through Fisher-Researcher Partnerships

Fishers have a wealth of knowledge and experience from the time spent on and under the water. Fisheries science is often enhanced by including the fishing community in data collection and research. It is important to continue to empower and equip fishers with tools and opportunities to participate in the scientific process. Many successful projects have shown that this collaboration can result in stronger trust between the fishing, science and management communities due to increased confidence in data collection methodologies, a greater understanding of research results, and increased buy-in to resultant management decisions. This session showcases how partnerships with the fishing community leads to more robust science and improved data quality to inform management.

Organizer: Keith Kamikawa, NOAA, [email protected]