The 145th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Portland, Oregon, is fast approaching on August 16-20, 2015, and FISHBIO is gearing up for the two symposia we are helping to host. As highlighted in many of our previous blog posts, FISHBIO integrates a variety of technologies into our monitoring and research projects, including the Vaki Riverwatcher, ARIS camera, and PIT tag technology. This inspired us to propose hosting the technology-themed symposium, “Keeping Up With the Times: Advancements and Creative Solutions Using Applied Technology In Fisheries Monitoring and Research” on August 17 and 18. Like most scientists, we tend to specialize in our local fishes, waterways, and our familiar tried-and-true sampling methods. Conferences like AFS provide an ideal opportunity for all of us in the field to broaden our perspectives and exchange ideas, as well as learn from the experiences of other fisheries biologists working both domestically and internationally. This symposium will not only present how newer technologies are breaking ground in the field of fisheries, but will also highlight new and creative potential uses for the “oldies but goodies.”
Technology and innovation have made it possible for fisheries biologists to monitor fish species more efficiently and effectively, even under challenging environmental conditions such as high flow and turbidity. Technologies such as environmental DNA (eDNA) and remote sensing have also allowed us to conduct broad-scale research in remote areas where direct sampling by other means is either too difficult or cost prohibitive. And at FISHBIO, we’ve seen firsthand how unusual project sites can require thinking outside the standard PIT tag antenna box to design and create some uniquely shaped antennas. The applied technology symposium will be a great opportunity to get the latest updates on current fisheries research and monitoring approaches. This exciting symposium will cover a day and a half, starting on the afternoon of Monday, August 17 and continuing all day on Tuesday, August 18, so you will have plenty of opportunity to stop by.
In addition, FISHBIO is co-organizing a second symposium, along with researchers from Australia’s Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, that will bring together experts from the United States and the Mekong River basin to discuss “Sustaining Diverse Fisheries in the Mekong Basin” on August 18. The Lower Mekong River basin is experiencing rapid development, with over 200 new dam projects approved every year, that will cumulatively impact the productivity and sustainability of the basin’s valuable inland fishery. Over 60 million people live in the Mekong Basin and many are dependent on the river for fish protein. However, infrastructure is often built without full consideration of the potential project impacts on this important food resource. The full day of talks will cover diverse topics, including lessons learned from existing hydropower projects, regional fish passage solutions, and Fish Conservation Zones as tools for co-management and conservation. The symposium will bring together researchers working around the Mekong basin to share ideas for approaches to sustainable development in the region.
We’ll hope you’ll join in the conversation by attending the AFS Annual Meeting this year in Portland, and hope to see you at one of these symposia!