Co-creating and Sharing International and Traditional Knowledge about Fish Passage and Hydropower

We aim to organise an innovative session where using online tools such as Mentimeter, we will create an engaging environment to co-create and share international and traditional knowledge about fish passage. Fish passages are century-old engineering tools used to mitigate the impacts of dams on fish migration and movement in riverine systems. Nevertheless, their efficiency to contribute to the conservation or even to mitigate the impacts of dams on river connectivity and migratory routes is arguable. The existence of different views and concepts around fish passage goals based on international perspectives and indigenous knowledge is clear. However, this information is pulverised on regional and local knowledge and not systematized. We aim to engage conference participants in lively discussions during the session to help us systematize knowledge and co-create concepts around fish passages that can be shared globally to improve the management of migratory fish populations.

Organizer: Luiz Silva, ETH-Zurich, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Sara Cannon, Ismail Albayrak

Supported by: AFS International Fisheries Section

Collaboration in Practice

The challenges associated with promoting coastal sustainability and building community resilience in environment management can be tackled through transdisciplinary approaches and cooperative efforts among stakeholders. This session will explore stakeholder engagement methods that integrate the diverse experiences and perspectives of community members. These tools will reveal what community members value in their environment and help scientists and non-scientists envision a future together. This immersive session will include activities like the game Get the Grade! and how to plan effective listening sessions. For the game, attendees will learn about different management perspectives by playing different stakeholders and advocating for their character’s interests. For planning effective listening sessions, participants will learn best practices to engage with stakeholders during and after the data collection process.

Organizer: Roshni Nair, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Integration and Application Network, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Veronica Malabanan Lucchese

Communicating Climate Change Impacts: Hands-on Learning to Enhance Policy and Public Buy-in

Climate change poses a major threat to fisheries around the world, but many fisheries managers/researchers lack the skills for effectively communicating this complex and controversial issue.  It is critical for fisheries managers to successfully promote audience buy-in toward sustainable actions. In this symposium, fisheries and science communication professionals will demonstrate techniques and skills for communicating the difficult topic of climate change to diverse audiences, ranging from politicians to anglers, using proven communication techniques and tools. Presentations will be followed by a workshop in which attendees will receive a brief training on communication techniques with the opportunity to practice their communication skills and receive input from peers.

Organizer: Sam Day, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Leslie Hartman, Leah Baumwell, Abigail Lynch, Kerry Flaherty-Walia

Supported by: AFS Climate Change Committee, AFS Science Communication Section, AFS Climate Ambassadors Program Steering Committee

Developing an Effective Risk Reduction Strategy to Ensure a Safe Work Environment for Observers

This innovative session will explore the process of developing, implementing, and maintaining an effective risk reduction strategy to ensure a safe maritime work environment for observers. The risk reduction strategy developed by the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement Alaska Division is based on the Routine Activities Theory, which suggests crime occurs when there is a convergence of a suitable target, the absence of a capable guardian, and a likely offender. The risk reduction strategy addresses each one of these three elements, through the collaboration of multiple government agencies and non-government organizations who are committed to protecting observers. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with representatives from these agencies and organizations during different blocks focused on each one of the elements of the risk reduction strategy. Blocks will include Suitable Targets, Likely Offenders, and Capable Guardians. This session will consist of oral presentations, posters, hands-on activities, and panel discussions.

Organizer: Jaclyn Smith, National Marine Fisheries Services Office of Law Enforcement, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Dan Hauser, Lori Newell, Dennis Jaszka

Supported by: National Marine Fisheries Service

Do the DNA, and Communicate It with a K.I.S.S.

Genomics research generates relevant insights for sustainable fisheries management and conservation strategies. But geneticists often fail to clearly explain why such complex approaches matter, and how genomic data can be applied. This session aims to bridge this gap by fostering dynamic discussions on the art of communicating ‘Doing the DNA.’ Through a blend of case studies, panel debates, and interactive sessions, we will dive into the dos and don’ts of persuasively communicating genomics research. Expect to hear about epic communication fails, successful strategies, and actionable tips for making complex genomic research accessible and engaging. Whether you are a geneticist struggling to convey your findings or a fisheries enthusiast keen on using genomic data, this session promises a lively, informative exchange. Join us to transform ‘genomic nerd-speak’ into actionable solutions that resonate across diverse audiences. Let’s advance communication of genomics research – innovatively and inclusively.

Organizer: Marlis R Douglas, University of Arkansas, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Julie Claussen, Michael E Douglas, Jeff Kopaska, Thomas Turner, Gary Whelan, Zach Zbinden, Steven Mussmann

Supported by: AFS Genetics Section, AFS Science Communication Section, AFS Fisheries Management Section, AFS Strategic Positioning Committee, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Innovations in Remote Sensing Technologies for Fisheries Assessment and Management

This innovative session will explore recent advancements in remote sensing technologies and their applications in fisheries management. From PIT tags and stream-based sensors to satellite imagery, innovative techniques are revolutionizing our ability to monitor fish populations, assess habitat conditions, and inform sustainable management strategies. Through lightning talks and interactive, small-group discussions, this session will showcase diverse approaches and methodologies, including the use of cutting-edge AI/ML techniques, and identify opportunities to leverage these techniques for fisheries assessment and management. Target audience includes anyone with interest in advancing science and technologies for fisheries resource management and technology partners. We will use a combination of lightning talks and outcome-orientated group discussions to identify major advances and opportunities to leverage new technologies for the field. Active participants will be invited to offshoot products or activities resulting from this session. The session is co-organized by NASA, USGS, and USFWS.

Organizer: Jessica Burnett, NASA, [email protected]

Co-organizers: David Hu, Jason Olive, Nima Pahlevan

Supported by: NASA, USGS, USFWS

Intergenerational Knowledge Exchange For Indigenous Marine Stewardship and Cultivation

Sustainable traditions of marine stewardship and cultivation have existed for millenia, providing deeply rooted, place-based food relations across the Pacific. Some of these resilient, sustainable and equitable food systems include Indigenous fisheries and aquaculture systems such as clam gardens, fishponds, beng, and community-based fisheries. Indigenous marine stewardship practices nourish communities and deepen relationships to marine resources by honoring intergenerational knowledge and revitalizing cultural practices, while fostering ecological innovation and adaptive governance.

We celebrate Indigenous knowledge holders, educators, community stewards, and marine practitioners through interactive presentations and discussions to build relationships between communities and generations across the Pacific. Through exchanging knowledge on coastal ecosystems and food cultivation, participants will deepen their understanding of how Indigenous knowledge can secure ocean abundance for future generations.

We build solidarity in the knowledge that the ocean is not what separates us, but connects us all.

Organizer: Brenda Lima, Kuaaina Ulu Auamo, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Melissa Poe, Olivia Horwedel, Alex Connelly, Luke Nalu Mead

Supported by: Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, Washington Sea Grant, Kumuola Marine Science Education Center

NOAA Climate, Ecosystems and Fisheries Initiative (CEFI)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched implementation of the Climate, Ecosystems and Fisheries Initiative (CEFI) to provide fisheries managers and fishing dependent communities with information to prepare for and respond to rapidly changing marine ecosystems.  The CEFI will build a nation-wide Decision Support System (System) that links climate, ocean and ecosystem observations and modeling to provide robust future scenarios and actionable advice for climate-informed resource management and community adaptation. The System is composed of four components to ensure continuous innovation and operational delivery of information across multiple time and spatial scales. NOAA has launched development of the CEFI System with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.  The goal of this session is to provide information on the CEFI System, answer questions and get input on the System design, development and applications from prospective System users and partners.

Organizer: Roger Griffis, NOAA Fisheries Service, [email protected]

Supported by: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Pollution, Toxicity, and the Need for More Species-specific Data

Water pollution may result in toxicant exposures to fish species and habitat. These exposures have the potential to cause direct mortality, reduced growth, altered behavior, reduced fecundity, adverse modification of habitat, and reduction in prey. More data is needed to better understand the spatial extent of pollution transport, mechanisms and concentrations of exposure, and impact to species of freshwater, anadromous, and marine fishes.

This round table session is intended to open dialogue between fisheries professionals and students with a wide swath of backgrounds and expertise to brainstorm effective paths forward to improving our understanding of pollution, toxicity, and fishes. Topics of discussion include:

  • Why is improving knowledge of pollution exposure and impact to fishes important?
  • Where are current gaps in knowledge?
  • What are priorities for research and monitoring?

Organizer: Nikki Wildart, NOAA, [email protected]

Tamamta (All of Us): Exploring Positionality & Relationality in Transformational Work

The Tamamta program seeks to transform fisheries education, research, and governance systems in Alaska and beyond. We are motivated by deep systemic inequities, Indigenous erasure, racism, and continued violence against Alaska Native peoples, and we strive to uplift Tribal sovereignty, Indigenous values, governance practices, and knowledge systems. We envision a future where Indigenous Peoples and our/their knowledge and governance systems steward land, fish, and animal relations. We are working to decolonize and Indigenize our curriculum, programs, and institutions. We are hosting difficult dialogues, providing short courses, and cultural exchanges for state and federal partner agencies to join this collective transformation. In this work, we center deep relational work based on reciprocity, respect, and redistribution. This innovative session will provide an opportunity for deep reflection on positionality and relationality. We hope to share some of our learnings and create a safe space for dialogue for connecting, sharing across projects, and building relationships. All are welcome.

Organizer: Courtney Carothers, University of Alaska Fairbanks, [email protected]

Co-organizers: Sonia Ibarra

Supported by: Tamamta, Indigenizing Salmon Science & Management, National Science Foundation, University of Alaska Fairbanks