Report on AFS Annual Meeting, August 2017, Tampa, Florida, by Suzanne Kelson

This August, I had the pleasure of travelling to Tampa, Florida to attend the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, “Fisheries Ecosystems: Uplands to Oceans,” thanks to the support of the Cal-Neva chapter. This was the first time that I attended the national meeting, and I was in awe of how many fisheries professionals could be all in one place at one time! I divided my time at the conference between attending talks, poster sessions, and exploring unique aspects of Tampa, such as getting caught in a downpour and meeting native mangrove fish at the aquarium. It was a valuable experience to hear about challenges and methods for fisheries scientists beyond salmonids, which I have spent my dissertation work thinking about. On the first day, Katsumi Tsukamoto, a professor at Nihon University, gave an inspiring plenary talk about his work on the Japanese eel, a catadromous species. He talked about the pure pleasure of discovery, including sharing an exciting the moment when he and his team located the spawning sites of the eel near the Suruga Seamount, and including the importance of sharing that pleasure of discovery with the future generation. Another highlight of the conference was the special session on “Redefining Darwinian Fisheries: Integrating the Diverse Roles of Evolution in Fisheries Sustainability,” where a diversity of speakers addressed the role that selection can play on fish and fisheries, not only on body size of fish, but also on behavioral tendencies in a population, and how to accurately communicate the potential effects of evolution on fisheries stocks. Another site to see at the Tampa conference was hundreds of fisheries scientists on the patio at the Tampa Convention Center, staring up at the sky to watch the eclipse! Overall, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference and experience the diversity of fisheries science in the U.S. and beyond. Thank you, Cal-Neva, for the support!