The American Fisheries Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources.

The American Fisheries Society…

  • Includes 8,000+ members from around the world, including fisheries managers, biologists, professors, ecologists, aquaculturists, economists, engineers, geneticists, and social scientists
  • Promotes scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources
  • Publishes five of the world’s leading fish journals, and many renowned books
  • Organizes scientific meetings where new results are reported and discussed
  • Encourages comprehensive education and professional development for fisheries professionals

AFS publishes…

Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (bimonthly, published since 1872)
  • North American Journal of Fisheries Management (bimonthly, published since 1981)
  • Journal of Aquatic Animal Health (quarterly, published since 1989)
  • North American Journal of Aquaculture (quarterly, published since 1935)
  • Marine and Coastal Fisheries (open-access, published since 2009)

Fisheries Magazine

  • Fisheries (monthly magazine, established in January 1976)
  • Included in AFS membership
  • Featured peer-reviewed technical articles on all aspects of aquatic resource-related subjects, as well:
    • professional issues
    • new ideas and approaches
    • education
    • economics
    • administration
    • and law
  • Magazine components include:
    • AFS news and current events
    • book reviews
    • focus on habitats
    • focus on special fish
    • social media spotlights
    • editorials
    • letters
    • calendar of events
    • columns by the AFS president, executive director, policy director
    • updated coverage of conference announcements
    • Unit activities
    • job announcements
    • and career development


The latest aspects of research, management, policy, and techniques are addressed by AFS books. AFS books cover a wide range of subjects, including
  • Fish biology
  • Ecology
  • Introduced species
  • Economics
  • Other related aspects of aquatic science

More than 180 titles are available, including textbooks, symposia proceedings, monographs, and other books in the Bookstore.

AFS hosts meetings and workshops…


Welcome Reception, 2014 Annual Meeting

A major Annual Meeting is hosted each year, and specialized symposia are held regularly on different topics. Click here to see the schedule for future Annual Meetings. Each Annual Meeting includes:

  • Approximately 2,000 fisheries professionals from around the world
  • Dozens of symposia and hundreds of oral presentation and posters
  • Continuing Education Workshops
  • Trade Show

AFS Units also host 4 Division, 48 Chapter, and several Section meetings throughout North America annually.

Our largest meeting was the 141st Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, WA, September 2011, with:

  • Approximately 4,000 fisheries professionals attended from around the world.
  • 2,600 oral presentation and 500 posters
  • 19 Continuing Education Workshops

AFS advises policy…

Eric Schwaab discussing data uncertainty at Capitol Hill

  • The Society seeks to improve the conservation and sustainability of fish and aquatic resources through thoughtful engagement with decision makers on issues.
  • Approximately 40 percent of freshwater fish species in North America are imperiled due to habitat loss, invasive species, water quality, and climate change.
  • AFS capitalizes on the expertise of its members to influence policy outcomes in these key areas to benefit aquatic resources by sharing management knowledge and the best available science with decision makers and partners.
  • AFS develops and conveys recommendations to regulatory agencies and Congress to support the conservation, enhancement, and management of our nation’s aquatic resources and freshwater and marine ecosystems.
  • Through non-partisan Congressional briefings on fisheries issues, AFS helps to educate members and their staffs with relevant science to enable better decision-making.
  • AFS policy staff provides opportunities for member engagement in developing policy recommendations and in supporting key legislative initiatives.  It also provides support to Sections, Divisions, and Chapters in policy engagement.

AFS promotes education and professional development…

More about the Society

The American Fisheries Society has a long history which reflects the changes in the social and natural resources history of North America. Established in 1870 in New York City, the AFS was originally called the “American Fish Culturists’ Association.” The history of AFS is a fascinating story spanning many years, including:

AFS is led by a team of leaders including an Executive Director, Governing Board and officers at every unit level. The leadership team is guided by several key organizational documents, including a strategic plan, constitution and rules, and procedures.

AFS serves member needs in a large geographic area coordinating with federal, provincial, and state-level agencies and organizations. This area is divided into four geographic divisions:

Chapters fall within these geographic divisions. There are currently 48 Chapters in North America, including two bi‐national Chapters (Atlantic International, Washington‐British Columbia) and the Mexico Chapter. Chapters may in turn contain many Student Subunits, which serve as a way for students to be involved within their institution and network with local professionals.

In addition to this geographic division, Sections serve member needs by bringing members within a specific discipline or topic area together.

AFS is a member‐driven organization.