GIS applications in Fisheries

This course will serve as an introduction to using spatial data in a geographic information system platform and is intended to meet the continued needs of fisheries professionals to integrate spatial assessments into their research and management objectives. Participants will learn fundamental concepts of using geographic information and gain experience applying those concepts in hands-on exercises to accomplish real world tasks that might be conducted by a fisheries biologist. We will introduce participants to ArcGIS Pro, a commonly used software, and the open source software QGIS which has seen vast improvements over recent years. We will provide instructions for hands-on exercises for both software packages so participants can choose the program they are most likely to use. Temporary student licenses in ArcGIS Pro will be provided to students who would like to complete the workshop using that software. Lectures will focus on concepts, such as understanding spatial projections and scales, avoiding pitfalls of incorrect usage, and technical topics such as formatting and management of spatially referenced data. Participants will learn how to create maps using best practices, locate and read metadata, use existing datasets, create new datasets by digitizing or incorporating field-collected spatial information, join tabular data to spatial data, use geoprocessing methods to summarize metrics, and carry out other GIS operations useful for fisheries biologists. Participants will be able to apply the concept and techniques covered in this workshop to their own work upon completion of the course. 


Hadley Boehm, [email protected] 

Fisheries Strategies for Changing Oceans and Resilient Ecosystems

FishSCORE2030 was endorsed as a decadal program by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The program will build a global network of scientists, stakeholders, and practitioners to identify approaches to sustain marine fisheries, protect ocean ecosystem health, and secure equitable benefits from fisheries in a changing ocean. This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn more about the program and climate-resilient case studies and to engage in the effort to apply climate-resilient vulnerability assessments and implement effective strategies in diverse fisheries. Abstract: Building resilient fisheries is essential for ensuring the continued flow and equitable distribution of benefits, such as nutritious foods, economic benefits, and cultural traditions, that are necessary for achieving many of the SDGs. The UN Decade of Ocean Science endorsed programme FishSCORE (Fisheries Strategies for a Changing Ocean and Resilient Ecosystems) will form a network of collaborators from across the globe to develop the scientific information base needed to sustain resilient marine fisheries in changing oceans. This programme will integrate transdisciplinary knowledge into new understandings of how climate change will affect marine fisheries at local to regional scales, and moreover, how healthy marine ecosystems and resilient fisheries can be achieved in the context of these changes. FishSCORE will rely on co-development of products through ongoing collaborations between scientists and fishery practitioners in local and regional fisheries. This process will improve the scientific products, ensure they are tailored for applied needs, and support their use in real-world fishery systems. This co-development and application approach will strengthen partnerships and build capacity for forward-looking resilience planning in marine fisheries across the globe, including in industrial and artisanal fisheries as well as in developed and developing countries.  FishSCORE will advance these collaboration and application experiences among diverse types of marine fisheries, including those from developing states and least developed countries, thereby contributing to equity of knowledge and capacity among fishery systems. This network of interdisciplinary scientists, fishery stakeholders, resource managers, community practitioners, and policy makers will (1) co-produce information and tools for assessing climate resilience, (2) develop approaches and best practices for using the tools to identify climate resilience strategies in diverse types of fishery systems, and (3) support the implementation of processes and solutions to advance climate resilience.


Kathy Mills, Gulf of Maine Research Institute ([email protected]
Kristin Kleisner, Environmental Defense Fund ([email protected]
Claire Enterline, Gulf of Maine Research Institute ([email protected]) 

Science communication for fisheries professionals: Approaches for outreach and engagement

As fisheries professionals, the work we do has critical implications for supporting fisheries and the human communities that rely on these resources.  Yet, the science needed to inform decision-making is often difficult to communicate broader audiences.  Through much trial and error, communication specialists have learned that one size does not fit all when it comes to communicating about fisheries science with non-scientific groups.  Innovative methods and techniques have now emerged that borrow techniques used in other professions that rely on public participation.  This workshop provides a multi-layered and in-depth assessment on the skills and proficiencies needed for fisheries professionals to do meaningful outreach and education.  We will teach effective practices within three main elements of communication1) Audience connection –This component will address the importance of finding connections to audiences, including those that be more challenging or unreceptive. 2) Effective messaging – Exploring the psychology of how people receive and retain information, this section will focus on how to structure and refine messaging so that it is both impactful and memorable,  3) Better presentations – The status quo of how scientists typically present their work will be examined to demonstrate why it can form a barrier to having an audience understand, remember, and believe the science that is being presented.  Training will focus on ways to break these barriers to inspire both science and non-science audiences.  Opportunities to practice various skills and use the training throughout the Congress will be provided.   


Julie Claussen, Fisheries Conservation Foundation, [email protected]
Carolyn Hall, Exact Communication, [email protected]
Katie O’Reilly, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, [email protected] 

Advancing The Contribution Of Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures To Ocean Conservation And Local Communities In Fisheries

The need for integrating effective conservation measures into more holistic ocean management strategies has never been greater, making marine conservation critical to sustainable development efforts. Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) are taking center stage as countries reconcile the goals agreed to in international agreements. Many area-based fisheries management measures already meet sustainability, ecosystem-based management and marine conservation goals and are well poised to meet the OECM criteria. The workshop objective is to identify challenges, best practices, opportunities, approaches, innovations and solutions related to the application of the OECM criteria in fisheries. The workshop will improve participants’ understanding of the criteria and allow them to use existing case studies to conduct mock OECM evaluations. The discussions will also contribute ideas and content to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s ongoing efforts to produce guidance focused on the identification, establishment, and management of OECMs in fisheries that complements existing non-sectoral guidance.


Amber Himes-Cornell, FAO, [email protected]
Kristin Hoelting, FAO