Tracking Progress Towards Global Fisheries Sustainability

Global leaders set a target to end overfishing and restore fish stocks to sustainable levels of abundance by 2020 as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG target 14.4). Yet information about the state of the world’s fisheries is still limited and global studies report that many fish stocks remain overfished, leaving most countries far from achieving the target.

In this session, we are looking at bringing together efforts to track progress towards global fisheries sustainability and, more specifically, to track countries’ progress to SDG 14.4. Alternative methods to assess the state of national fisheries, such as the use of indicators, are needed to fill the knowledge gap in global fisheries. We are interested in methods used to assess stock sustainability based on different data or knowledge types, and methods to evaluate the governance capacity of countries to end overfishing and restore fish stocks in their national waters.


Chris Wilcox, Minderoo Foundation, [email protected]
Jemma Thévenau, Minderoo Foundation
Julia Santana-Garcon, Minderoo Foundation
Jessica Spijkers, Minderoo Foundation

Thiamine Deficiency in Fishes: A Symptom of Dysfunctional Aquatic Ecosystems

Thiamine (vitamin B1) availability influences community structure and dynamics across scales from microbes to fisheries. This essential coenzyme is required by all living organisms where it functions to catalyze key steps in central carbon metabolism. Despite its universal importance, dissolved concentrations in aquatic systems are frequently in the fempto-pico molar range. Deficiencies in thiamine have been reported in various wildlife in ecosystems across the northern hemisphere. Thiamine deficiency can cause crippling morbidities, neurological problems, and has been linked to early life-stage mortality and large population declines of predatory fishes. Chronic thiamine deficiency has been found in fish species in the Baltic Sea and Laurentian Great Lakes for decades, and more recently was identified as an emerging threat to salmonids from California to Alaska. This session addresses the breadth of thiamine’s impacts with the goal of bringing together investigators from diverse disciplines and geographies to solve pressing thiamine-related challenges.


Freya Rowland, USGS, [email protected]
Samuel Hylander, Linnaeus University
Nathan Mantua, NOAA/NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Christie Nichols, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Rachel Johnson, NOAA Fisheries – UC Davis
David Walters, USGS
Christopher Suffridge, Oregon State University
Cody Pinger, NOAA/NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center

The Potential of Digitalization of the Whole Value Chain of the Fishing Sector Towards Sustainability, Quality and Safety

Digitization and advanced tools applied to fisheries, like Electronic Monitoring (EM) or Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM), artificial intelligence, machine and deep learning, data from different sensors or blockchain technologies, have enormous potential to optimize fishing operations, to improve our ability of gathering and analysing fisheries dependant and independent data and to guarantee the sustainability, safety and quality of fish production to satisfy the demands of consumers, stakeholders of the food chain and regulators/policymakers.

The main objective of the of the proposed session is to share the knowledge, expertise and use of digital solutions for extended Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) along the whole fishing value chain (from cradle to gate) and for collection of scientifically and commercially important data in the whole seafood value chains to promote sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources and optimise seafood sourcing.


Luis T. Antelo, Marine Research Institute (IIM-CSIC), [email protected]

The International Pacific Halibut Commission: 100 Years of Science-based Fishery Management

In 1923, the Convention for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea was signed by Canada and the United States of America (U.S.A) in response to conservation needs. The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), initially named the International Fisheries Commission, was established as an intergovernmental organisation by this Convention that came into effect on 21 October 1924, constituting the first international agreement for joint management of a marine resource. Therefore, for the last 100 years, the IPHC has been successfully managing the Pacific halibut resource for Canada and the U.S.A. through the application of rigorous science, innovation, and the implementation of international best practice. This session is intended to celebrate the first 100 years of the IPHC by highlighting past and current scientific activities that have supported the management of the Pacific halibut fishery in the Northeastern Pacific Ocean.


JOSEP PLANAS, International Pacific Halibut Commission, [email protected]

Technologies, Guidelines, and Policies: An Open Discussion about Recreational Fishing Impacts and Solutions

This session aims to bring together a diverse and vibrant group of speakers from across the globe and create an environment for open discussions about the impacts of recreational fisheries, existing and emerging technologies and solutions, guidelines and policies contributing to management strategies. The impacts of the recreational fisheries industry have been overlooked, with many knowledge gaps identified creating challenges to the development and implementation of management and mitigation measures. With this session, we would like to create an opportunity for different groups to network and engage in discussions aimed at co-creating solutions and actions to secure the sustainability of recreational fisheries worldwide.


Luiz G. M. Silva, ETH-Zurich, [email protected]
Steven Cooke, Carleton University
Jamie Madden, Carleton University
Sascha Danylchuk, Keep Fish Wet

Sustaining Human Health for a Sustainable Industry – Making Sense to Make Safer Healthier Fisheries

Sustaining the health and wellbeing of people in Fisheries has never been more important. Mental Health and wellbeing programs, psychological and physical safety programs all require commitment and behaviour change at every level to be successful.  This session will commence with an introduction to the concepts and linkages between mental health, psychological health and safety and physical health and safety.  A number of experts will then interactively explore practical ways that Fisheries are working to improve outcomes for their human communities.  Innovative practices, programs and projects will be showcased and tools shared in practical ways enabling participants to ‘try’ some of the interesting tools that have been developed in different communities. The session will include with an interactive group ideation of new ways to create sustainable and healthy workplaces for humans of fisheries.


Jo Marshall, Seafood Industry Australia, [email protected]

Sustainable Fisheries Management through Innovative Seafood Traceability Solutions

In the fight to ensure that our seafood is safe, legally caught, and accurately labelled, traceability is a critical tool. However, to facilitate broad adoption, seafood traceability solutions must be easily replicable and affordable for fisheries management. In this context, we invite examples from around the world, where seafood traceability methods are supporting sustainable management of fisheries, particularly cephalopod fisheries.  Case-studies focused on innovative traceability approaches such as blockchain-based traceability, geochemical, biochemical, and molecular tools are welcome contributions.


Ian Gleadall, AiCeph LLC, [email protected]
Hassan Moustahfid, NOAA
Warwick Sauer, Rhodes University

Status of Fish and Fisheries in the Himalayan Region

Over 1.3 billion people depend on water and the associated aquatic  resources in the Himalayan region. The ecosystems  of the “third pole” and the animals inhabiting them are threatened with human activities and rapid global change. A wide deficiency of knowledge on the fish and aquatic life in these water bodies has hindered efforts for protection, as well as slowed the progress toward mitigating the impacts to rivers, lakes, and wetlands in the region. This session will serve as a platform for researchers, policy-makers and resource managers to present findings, opinions, approaches and visions for relevant work in the region. Ultimately, we expect a synthesis of the available knowledge among the presenters, who can benefit from each other’s expertise towards reaching the common overarching goals.


Vaskar Nepal, Western Illinois University, [email protected]
Mary Fabrizio, William & Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Julie Claussen, Fisheries Conservation Foundation
David Philipp, Fisheries Conservation Foundation
Troy Tuckey, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Hemanta Dhakal, Prithvi Narayan Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kaski
Rahul Ranjan, Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan

Social and Ecological Dynamics of Global Distant Water Fleets and Emerging Policy Opportunities

Despite a recent increase in research on distant water fleets (DWFs), many details regarding their scale and scope remain unknown. Similarly, there is much to learn about their impacts on fisheries sustainability, local economies, and well-being; many governments around the world have identified DWFs as a key threat to the health of marine ecosystems, domestic economic opportunities, food security, and human rights. Many countries also engage with distant water fishing nations and companies for the economic benefits they provide. This session will present a series of talks outlining a wide array of the social and ecological dimensions of DWFs globally. It will also include an expert panel and roundtable discussion to outline future research and funding needs and provide a blueprint for policy action. Individuals from academia, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and governments will come together to discuss the past, present, and future DWF research and policy agenda.


Rachel Zuercher, University of Rhode Island,
Austin Humphries, University of Rhode Island, [email protected]
Lauren Josephs, University of Rhode Island
Elin Torell, University of Rhode Island
Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia
Maria L.D. Palomares, University of British Columbia