The American Fisheries Society is a non-profit organization established in 1870 to advance fisheries science.

IMG_5186 smallThe American Fisheries Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.  To meet that mission, AFS has developed several organizational documents to guide the Society, including:

In addition, several shorter-term documents provide strategies for achieving the mission and are developed by the current leadership:

The ongoing work of AFS is documented each year through Annual Reports. A fascinating complete history of fisheries and AFS in North America was also compiled by Dr. Christine Moffitt.


AFS has leadership at every level of the organization.

  • The Governing Board guides the Society at the highest level, and is composed of the elected officers, the Executive Director, Division presidents and presidents-elect, Section presidents, president of the Student Subsection of the Education Section, and the Constitutional Consultant. The Governing Board is the ultimate authority for the operation of the Society. It is the equivalent of a board of directors, deciding policy for the Society, authorizing its operations, hiring its Executive Director, and making financial decisions.
  • The elected Society officers include the President, President Elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Immediate Past President.
  • The Management Committee functions as an Executive Committee of the Governing Board.

Supporting Staff

A permanent support staff, including the Executive Director, is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. The staff focuses on publications, membership, policy, and accounting. If you need assistance from the AFS Staff, please feel free to contact us.