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February 20, 2024

National CASC Fish Biologist Abigail Lynch chatted with the American Fisheries Society for a podcast episode about the upcoming World Fisheries Congress in Seattle.  Lynch is serving as an international program co-chair and National CASC Chief Doug Beard is serving as the meeting chair. 

The 9th World Fisheries Congress (WFC) will be held in Seattle, Washington from March 3-7, 2024, marking the first time the United States has hosted the international meeting. The meeting is organized by the World Council of Fisheries Societies, and this year, National CASC Chief Doug Beard and Fish Biologist Abby Lynch were both involved in the planning, with Beard serving as the meeting chair and Lynch serving as an international program co-chair.  

Lynch was recently interviewed on an episode of the American Fisheries Society’s “AFS Beneath the Surface” podcast about the upcoming event, which she describes as “essentially the Olympics of fisheries congresses, [where] the purpose is really to promote international cooperation in fisheries science, and conservation and management.” The meeting has occurred every 4 years since 1992 when it was first hosted in Athens, Greece.  

Organizers of this year’s meeting have planned many interactive, collaborative meeting sessions, creating spaces that are more conducive for discussions and idea-sharing than typical sit-down presentations. In a changing climate, sharing information is critical for swiftly adapting to new conditions and challenges encountered in fisheries management and the attendees of the WFC span various fisheries sectors including researchers, managers, private sector, and NGOs with different approaches to fisheries management. For instance, while the United States does not rely as heavily on fisheries for food as some other nations do, international meetings like the WFC provide American fisheries professionals an opportunity to learn from international peers about the challenges they face and strategies they use to sustain their food economies. 

This year’s meeting will also host the first WFC Art Exhibition. The exhibit will feature artwork that reflects the meeting theme “Fish and Fisheries at the Food-Water-Energy Nexus,” including work by Alaskan Native Rico Worl, who also designed the conference logo.  

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