Indigenous Fisheries Gathering – Transboundary Waters, Fish, Peoples, and Governance

The session, “Indigenous Fisheries Gathering – Transboundary Waters, Fish, Peoples, and Governance”, will bring together knowledge holders and rights holders from waterways and water bodies that intersect Indigenous territories and imaginary geo-political borders, in North America and beyond. Through a facilitated discussion, those convened will share their experiences working at such an interface while championing Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Their reflections will provide insight into how transboundary fisheries can thrive and/or be protected amidst mounting ecological and social challenges. Attending to the importance of relationships and connection, this facilitated discussion will be followed by an open networking session for all attendees. Our goal is to centre Indigenous voices and experiences in an interactive way to allow for cross-jurisdictional knowledge exchange and to foster an atmosphere of co-learning.


Andrea Reid, UBC, [email protected]

Going Beyond Environmental Sustainability: Integration of Social Responsibility into Sustainable Seafood Interventions

Embedding social responsibility into the definition of sustainability has accelerated across fisheries and their supply chains, as human rights and labor issues are increasingly being included as key elements of market-based approaches like third-party certifications, fishery improvement projects (FIPs), and buyer sourcing commitments. Now, these interventions aim to address a wide scope of human and labor rights such as forced labor, human trafficking, and child labor, as well as food and livelihood security and gender equity to create meaningful change for fishers and fishworkers across the diversity of global fisheries. In this session, those leading the integration of social responsibility into fisheries sustainability present findings from a recent, empirical evaluation of recognized market-based interventions, highlighting notable progress, challenges, and areas of improvement. Drawing on examples from direct collaboration with industry and fishing communities, they share lessons learned and tangible next actions for the fisheries science and seafood industry sectors.


Gabrielle Lout, Ocean Outcomes, [email protected]

Accelerating Progress: Solutions Through Innovative Technology, Selective Fish Passage and a Dynamic Science-Knowledge-Policy Interface

Fisheries science tells us that we have a fish sustainability crisis. Climate change and decades of human intervention have disrupted the balance of river ecosystems. Clean, renewable energy resources are needed, including hydropower with fish passage. The science “advocates” for massive and faster restoration activities. Recent technological development across many fields has increased dramatically.  However, in the world of fish passage and invasive management the trajectory has been relatively flat: Fish ladders and truck-and-transport operations are largely unchanged and invasive removal is primarily manual. As a result, key objectives are not being met. Given the decline in many migratory fish populations, and the rise in opportunistic invasive fish species, incremental steps toward improvement are not enough. A significant change in approach is needed. Join us in a two-part panel discussion of the requirements for progress, including government policy, and a case evaluation of population restoration efforts necessitating innovative, removal strategies.


Vince Bryan, Whooshh Innovations, Inc., [email protected]
Steve Dearden, Whooshh Innovations, Inc.
Mike Messina, Whooshh Innovations, Inc.

Financing Sustainable and Equitable Fisheries: Lessons Learned and Paths Forward

We plan to convene an expert panel session on financing sustainable and equitable fisheries, and convening representatives from philanthropy, public funding agencies, and investment funds. The expert panel will discuss and answer questions regarding the changing seascape of funding for sustainable and socially responsible fisheries projects around the world.


Katy Dalton, Conservation International, [email protected]

Enforcement and Observer Programs: An Essential Partnership to Protect Observers, Maintain High-Quality Data, Combat IUU, and Ensure Sustainable Fisheries Management

This session seeks to highlight the essential relationship between fisheries observer programs and enforcement in order to foster the support of observers and ultimately sustainable management of our marine resources. Although observers are central to high-quality fishery-dependent data collection, observers also face challenges in performing their work safely at sea on commercial fishing vessels. Without effective enforcement programs, regulations and measures designed to the rules that are in place to create a safe and efficient sampling environment for observers are easily subverted. Enforcement also is paramount to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fisheries. This expert panel discussion will provide an opportunity to share ideas, present case studies of collaborative partnerships with observer programs and enforcement agencies, and illustrate operational challenges. The end goal will be to identify tactics and strategies that contribute to effective observer and enforcement relationships.


Gwynne Schnaittacher, NOAA Fisheries, [email protected]
Jon McVeigh, NOAA Fisheries

Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches for Understanding Recreational Fishers

Understanding recreational fishers is challenging.  We united experts in social and ecological sciences to produce an edited book focused on disciplinary and interdisciplinary overviews of attitudes and behaviors of recreational fishers.  This book educates users on state-of-the art methods for engaging fishers in support of social sciences, for quantifying and predicting fisher behaviours, for understanding outcomes of fisher behaviours, and for fully integrating social-science data into fisheries management…all in the hopes of better management of complex social-ecological systems.  We will bring together authors in three separate panel discussions (each focused on a distinct section of this book) to help social scientists and ecologists understand how they can engage each other for more meaningful research and deeper understanding of people and recreational activities.  These discussions are suitable for on-the-ground managers without formal training in social science and for research scientists developing programs in human dimensions of wildlife and fisheries.


Kevin Pope, U.S. Geological Survey—Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, [email protected]
Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center
Brett van Poorten, Simon Fraser University
Robert Arlinghaus, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Defining Indicators for the Ten Steps to Responsible Inland Fisheries

The 2015 global conference, Freshwater, fish, and the future – cross-sectoral approaches to sustain livelihoods, food security, and aquatic ecosystems produced a forward-looking call-to-action characterized by the 2015 Rome Declaration’s “Ten Steps to Responsible Inland Fisheries.”  We would like to facilitate an interactive discussion session with tables for participants would rotate in small groups to discuss each of the Ten Steps and suggest recommendations for indicators of progress.  The aim of this session would be to solicit feedback from the broad audience of the WFC to serve as the foundation for an action plan for global inland fisheries.


Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center, [email protected]
Devin Bartley, Michigan State University
T. Douglas Beard, USGS-NCASC
Steven Cooke, Carleton University
Ian Cowx, Hull International Fisheries Institute
Simon Funge-Smith, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Sui Phang, The Nature Conservancy
William Taylor, Michigan State University

Defining “Destructive Fishing” and Options to Support a Fair Transition to Low-impact Methods

The term “destructive fishing” is widely used across policy, media and academic sectors but with no agreed definition or associated indicators, progress towards sustainable fisheries management and reducing biodiveristy loss is impeded. This panel session will discuss work undertaken to develop an expert-driven definition of “destructive fishing” and associated indicators so that progress against international and national policy frameworks can be measured (e.g. SDGs). In particular, we aim to highlight the need to transition away from the most destructive fishing practices in terms of biodiversity and discuss how a fair transition could be supported. This will be demonstrated through several case studies performed to assess the economic, social, and environmental impact of a transition to lower-impact gears. Audience members will be invited to comment on the work conducted to date and discuss possible barriers and opportunities to support a global transition away from destructive fishing practices.


Hannah Richardson, Fauna and Flora International, [email protected]

Crafting Usable Science to Inform Fisheries Decision-making in a Changing Climate – Lessons from the Science-Policy Interface

Climate-driven impacts on marine species are a complex problem. The myriad challenges climate change poses for managers, stakeholders, and scientists are cross-cutting, cross-disciplinary, and contentious. The ability to move beyond this complexity to manage fisheries in a changing ocean will require information that is tailored to the decision-making context and developed with the input of fisheries managers and stakeholders. This session will present an expert panel of researchers involved in efforts to better understand, predict, and advance solutions for climate change impacts on fisheries. We will focus particularly on methods and experiences around developing and conducting research hand-in-hand with the people who can use the results to position research outcomes for greatest impact.


Sarah Close, Lenfest Ocean Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts, [email protected]

Bringing Salmon Back From The Brink

Salmon are central to the economic, cultural, and spiritual existence and identity of peoples who live, work, and play in the temperate regions of our planet. oday, salmon populations distributed in lower latitudes struggle to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. Concurrently, populations in higher latitudes are shifting their range to compensate for loss of optimal habitat, resulting in reorganizations of trophic pathways and community interactions. The proposed program will feature talks related to salmon ecology, hatchery production, adaptive management, stock assessment, and indigenous knowledge addressing the challenges, opportunities, and case studies needed to ensure persistence of these populations for future generations. In this session, a diverse group of scientists, traditional knowledge keepers, and policy-makers will share their perspectives regarding the what, why, and how we can care for these remarkable species in an increasingly uncertain climate.


Gary Morishima, Quinault Management Center, [email protected]