Otoliths and Beyond: Advancing Chemical Tracers in Calcified and Archival Tissues for Sustainable Fisheries

Chemical data stored in fish otoliths and other archival tissues (e.g., scales, shells, fin rays, eye lenses) provide a wealth of information on fish life histories, from natal origins to movements, as well as support growth, trophic, physiological, environmental stress, and biomineralization studies. This multidisciplinary session will welcome contributions on the chemistry of calcified structures, and how otoliths and other archival structures can be used together with emerging technological approaches to support and advance ecological understanding and fisheries management. This session will provide an opportunity to gain insights on novel applications and interpretations of otolith and archival tissue chemistry, highlight successful case studies, discuss management solutions, and how to integrate this information with other complementary approaches. In doing so, we can champion how technological breakthroughs, innovative conceptual frameworks, and interdisciplinary collaborations can be translated into management and monitoring.


Patrick Reis-Santos, The University of Adelaide, [email protected]
Bronwyn Gillanders, The University of Adelaide
Benjamin Walther, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Karin Limburg, SUNY-ESF
Susanne Tanner, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre
Chris Izzo, FRDC – Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Mitigating for Dam Effects to Migratory Fish: Balancing Benefits and Costs

Human uses of water—such as for food and energy production—can unintentionally impact aquatic ecosystems and migratory fish species that are valued by society. In particular, the construction and operation of dams have been shown to alter many ecological functions that are important for influencing fish abundance and persistence.  As the reliance on food and energy production for humans continues to grow and other pressures on fish populations increase, mitigating unintentional aquatic ecosystem impacts will become more challenging.  Mitigation for valued species is diverse but often includes actions such as: hatchery production, habitat restoration, management of species interactions, and transporting fish around barriers. The important questions for regulatory agencies are how much mitigation is enough, what type of mitigation is most appropriate, and what level of monitoring is necessary? This symposium attempts to answer these questions in hopes of achieving a balance between energy, food, and fish conservation.


Todd Pearsons, Grant County Public Utility District, [email protected]
Timothy Taylor, Grant County Public Utility District

Managing Fisheries Bycatch of Threatened Species

Fisheries targeting relatively productive species can harm incidentally caught bycatch species with low fecundity and other life history traits that make them vulnerable to anthropogenic mortality. There has been increasing concern over the sustainability of bycatch mortality of marine megafauna given their vulnerability to exploitation, ecosystem-level cascading effects from declines in abundance, and reduced population fitness from fisheries-induced evolution. This theme session provides an opportunity to identify key criteria for developing evidence-informed, integrated fisheries bycatch policy that promises to achieve ecological and socioeconomic objectives of bycatch management strategies.

Eric Gilman, Pelagic Fisheries Research Center, [email protected]
Milani Chaloupka, Ecological Modelling Services Pty Ltd and Marine Spatial Ecology Lab, University of Queensland
Petri Suuronen, International Seafood Consulting Group (ISCG), Finland, [email protected]

Management of Recreational Fisheries Accounting for Social Benefits, Economic Value, and Biological Sustainability

Recreational fisheries can represent a significant source of fishing mortality, have impact on ecosystems, and interact with commercial fisheries and other users of the marine environment. However, the evidence needed to manage these fisheries is often limited and difficult to collect. This theme session is an opportunity to share experiences and critically examine approaches developed across the globe. Participants will verify the role of recreational fisheries, identify how to incorporate recreational fisheries survey data into assessment to improve scientific advice, discuss effective engagement and co-management approaches, and explore different models for management of recreational fisheries considering biological, economic, and social goals.


Estanis Mugerza, AZTI, [email protected]
Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center
Kieran Hyder, Cefas

Making a Case for Ending Bottom Trawling

Bottom trawling is a very common and highly destructive type of fishing gear, imposing significant ecological, social and economic costs. Decisions on trawl fisheries management pose notable policy challenges. During this symposium, we report on our biological, socio-economic and policy research into bottom trawling. We present an analysis of the bias in trawl studies by spaces and species. Our biological studies probe (i) how many fish species are caught and (ii) how trawling affects threatened species. Our socio-economic studies investigate (iii) what brings people into bottom trawling, why they stay, and what makes them leave and (iv) probes the costs and benefits to different actors in bottom trawl fisheries and associated industries. Our management and policy studies examine (v) what happens in areas where bottom trawling is excluded and (vi) how bottom trawling undermines global agreements.  We invite colleagues to consider how our research influences the agenda for bottom trawling.


Amanda Vincent, Project Seahorse, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia, [email protected]

Innovations in On-Demand Fishing

This full-day session will focus on the latest advancements, obstacles, and problem-solving pertaining to on-demand fishing. On-demand, or “ropeless,” systems eliminate static rope in the water column compared to fishing with traditional pot/trap gear designs. In traditional methods, gear is tied to a rope that is attached to a buoy at the surface of the water. The main characteristic of on-demand gear is that it doesn’t need this tether between gear and buoy. The presentations in this session will give attendees relevant background information about on-demand technologies, its purpose, as well as implementation and testing-related challenges. Through additional formal presentations, the session will also provide an overview of specific global case studies of on-demand fishing. After the presentations, there will be roundtable conversations where attendees and presenters may explore the innovations of on-demand fishing and what is necessary to increase success in the future.


Kristen Long, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, [email protected]

Fish and Hydropower: Impacts, Opportunities, and Constraints

Hydropower is an important source of renewable energy that also contributes important ancillary services related to grid reliability; however, construction, and operation of hydropower facilities can have significant impacts, including to fish and fisheries.  There is a long history of research and applications related to instream flows and fish passage. New knowledge accrues and innovations emerge, but hydropower impacts remain. Changing hydrologic baselines, anthropic water demand, and a tight relationship between power generation and water flow downstream of hydropower facilities exacerbate a complex socio-economic-environmental challenge that encompasses impacts, opportunities, and constraints for people and the environment. Protection, mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency all require trade-offs among power generation, water availability for human use, and instream levels and flows. This session will address impacts, opportunities, and constraints at the interface of fish and hydropower in the face of changing human needs, changing hydrologic baselines, and efforts to decarbonize the energy sector.


Paul Jacobson, Electric Power Research Institute, [email protected]
Jonathan Black, Electric Power Research Institute
Doug Bradley, Electric Power Research Institute

Enhancing Coastal and Ocean Observing Networks for Ecosystem and Fisheries Monitoring and Prediction

Integrated multidisciplinary ocean observations are a key contributor to understanding ocean processes, variability and changes which have profound implications to support robust climate- and ocean-related forecasts, predictions, and projections to guide fisheries management, aquaculture development and adaptation strategies that reduce risk and increase coastal resilience. The session will cover topics (but not limited) on the power of integrated coastal ocean observing long-term time series data that provide knowledge of the past, present state of the oceans, including fish and other living resources, and are useful for predicting future changes. This session will also highlight the key gaps and future needs of coastal observations, full data lifecycle from data procurement , processing, product development and communication to effectively monitor and manage marine ecosystems and fisheries in a changing climate.


Hassan Moustahfid, NOAA, [email protected]
Clarissa Anderson, SCCOOS and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Henry Ruhl, CenCOOS and MBARI
Jake Kritzer, NERACOOS
Jan Newton, University of Washington, NANOOS
Sheyna Wisdom, Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS)

Current State of Plastic Pollution and Fisheries

Plastic debris, including microplastics, have the potential to impact fisheries globally. Plastic affects aquatic environments and organisms, including many key fish and fisheries species, as well as the ecosystems where they live but we still lack a clear understanding of impacts on organisms, fisheries and the seafood industry. This session will be a multifaceted discussion on the opportunities and threats that plastic pollution poses to the aquaculture and fishing industries including potential solutions. We welcome contributions on identification and contamination of plastic in seafood species, biological effects of plastic consumption, and potential management solutions for fisheries to lower plastic impacts. This session will provide a global and broad-spectrum occasion to gain insights on research trends on the current state of marine plastics in fisheries and its impacts on seafood. Sharing information on how affects of plastics on the seafood industry and seafood species fished will guide the urgency of future research and boost management and mitigation strategies that support the seafood sector.


Nina Wootton, The University of Adelaide, [email protected]
Bronwyn Gillanders, The University of Adelaide
Thava Palanisami, University of Newcastle

Behavioral Ecology Informs the Conservation and Management of Fishes

Behavioral ecology is the study of how the environment and species interactions shape animal behavior to determine the success of individuals, populations, and species. It is a well-developed field with several key conceptual approaches. However, these approaches are still relatively novel tools as applications to fisheries biology and, especially, fish conservation. Talks in this session will cover the application of behavioral ecology as a management tool for fish and fisheries. Behaviors can include, but are not limited to: foraging, habitat use, movements, social, risk responses, etc. Analysis of these behaviors in their ecological context not only advances the field of behavioral ecology but can make meaningful contributions to fisheries biology.


Carlos Polivka, Pacific NW Research Station USDA Forest Service, [email protected]
Margaret Malone, Florida International University