Sections bring together fisheries professionals with similar professional interests.

Sections are units of the Society defined by professional interests and are intended to advance the Society’s objectives within the various disciplines of fisheries science and practice. Sections share the general mission of the Society, but restrict their activities to their specified interest area. A Section may  create smaller organizational units within it to serve its purposes, but these units shall not act without Section approval. Sections have no geographic boundaries; AFS members may join as many sections as they wish.

About the Sections

  • The Bioengineering Section develops and maintains an association of persons interested and involved in promoting an understanding of the interrelationship between fisheries scientists and engineers. It encourages the exchange of bioengineering information, criteria, and techniques among fisheries scientists, fish culturists, and engineers. The Section sponsors symposia and publishes a newsletter.
  • The Canadian Aquatic Resources Section promotes the conservation, development, and wise management of aquatic resources in Canada, within the context of sound ecological principles and sustainability.  It gathers and disseminates information pertaining to Canadian fisheries and aquatic resources, and promotes the educational and technical aspects of the fisheries profession in Canada.
  • The Cooperative Research with Stakeholders Section aims to advance the Society’s promotion of scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources by encouraging and facilitating research partnerships among scientists, stakeholders, and resource users, especially commercial fishermen/harvesters and recreational anglers.
  • The Early Life History Section is devoted to interests in the early life history (fish eggs, larvae, juveniles) of freshwater, estuarine and marine fishes.  It encourages and facilitates exchange of knowledge through a highly regarded newsletter, a detailed membership directory, annual Larval Fish Conferences and their published proceedings, related sessions at annual AFS meetings, and special symposia and workshops.
  • The Education Section strives to improve the quality of fisheries education for fisheries scientists, exchanges information, techniques, and materials for progressive teaching, develops programs in continuing education, establishes curriculum guidelines for fisheries programs at colleges and universities, promotes public education and awareness, and assists AFS on matters requiring education expertise.  Other Section activities include administration of the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education, travel awards for students to attend the annual meeting, and the production of fisheries textbooks.
  • The Student and Early Career Subsection of the Education Section provides a place for all students and early career professionals in the American Fisheries Society (AFS).  Students who join the AFS (not only a Subunit or Chapter) are automatically added to the Student Subsection for free. You will receive innumerable benefits from joining the Subsection and AFS! The Student & Early Career Subsection is technically a subsection under the Education Section, which encompasses many of the fisheries professionals involved in academia, outreach and other educational efforts.
  • The Equal Opportunity Section works to encourage the exchange of information pertinent to the promotion of employment, education, scholarship, participation, professionalism, and recruitment for all individuals in the fisheries profession.  The Section administers the J. Frances Allen Scholarship program and publishes a newsletter.
  • The Estuaries Section provides a Society-wide forum for discussing and resolving the major multidisciplinary, multi-organizational issues concerning United States and Canadian estuaries.  It will assume a leadership/liaison function with other professional societies involved with estuarine issues and will provide a forum for discussion and presentation of major estuarine issues to the membership through seminars and sessions at annual meetings.
  • The Fish Culture Section develops criteria aimed at establishing levels of expertise among fish culturists, maintains a registry of fish culturists who are Section members, continuously upgrades the science of fish culture by organizing national workshops in areas important to fish culture, and publishes a newsletter containing news items and information on meetings and job opportunities.
  • The Fish Habitat Section was established in 2008 to establish a unifying section for freshwater and marine habitat enthusiasts across the AFS membership. Section members have interests across all habitat realms, as shown by their strong support for symposia at AFS annual meetings, In 2015, the Section supported symposia on hydropower, water quality, climate change, the National Fish Habitat Partnership, and euthrophication. The Section has many student members, sponsors annual travel awards for select undergraduate and graduate students each year, presents best paper awards at each annual meeting, and partners with other AFS units on education activities.
  • The Fish Health Section enhances communication among fish health specialists.  Publication of a quarterly newsletter, the Section-established Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, and the “Fish Health Blue Book,” combined with annual meetings, facilitate better communication among professionals concerned with diseases of fish.  The Section offers a comprehensive certification program for fish pathologists and fish health inspectors.
  • The Fisheries Administration Section members are largely administrators from federal, state, and provincial fishery resource management agencies, the people who are responsible for North America’s fishery resources. Official objectives of the Section are to improve the techniques, effectiveness, and efficiency of the administrative functions of fisheries resource management. Unofficially, the Section provides administrators an opportunity to exchange ideas and hopefully solve mutual problems. The intent is to dispense with rigid formality, to communicate rather than just talk, and to learn more about the business of being an administrator.
  • The Fisheries History Section is an association of members who wish to encourage the preservation and collection of fisheries history and to stimulate the interpretation and dissemination of fisheries history for the promotion of fisheries and its heritage. The Section publishes a newsletter which features historical photographs and articles.
  • The Fisheries Information and Technology Section seeks to connect other AFS members with technology and software solutions for fisheries data collection, data storage and management, and analysis.  Originally called the Computer Users Section, this Section now focuses on advancing the technological tools available to fisheries science.  The Section publishes a newsletter featuring new applications of technology to fisheries problems and technology-related course announcements, and supports symposia and sessions at the annual AFS meeting.
  • The Fisheries Management Section members work to develop new management concepts and techniques as well as programs in education and communication to solve fisheries management problems. The Section promotes exchange of fisheries management information and research by sponsoring workshops, symposia, meetings, and special sessions, on such topics as the role of fish culture and fisheries management, urban fishing, trout stream habitat improvement, fisheries computer applications, and fish marking techniques. The Section is also involved in continuing education short courses.
  • The Genetics Section’s overall goal is to promote the conservation of the genetic resources of natural fish populations. It brings together research biologists, resource managers, and agency administrators who are interested in genetic issues and who wish to work together to provide solutions for the fishery management community. The Fish Genetics Section organizes and sponsors symposia and workshops at regional and national levels and publishes a newsletter to communicate new technique developments, progress reports from various research groups, and news items concerning recent occurrences and upcoming events.
  • The Imperiled Aquatic Species Section promotes effective fisheries management by developing and maintaining an association of persons interested in and involved in conservation and management of imperiled freshwater organisms; Promoting the conservation of imperiled freshwater organisms; Encouraging continuing professional growth among Section members and others interested in conservation of imperiled freshwater organisms and growth of the conservation field itself by conducting symposia, workshops, short courses, or other activities that contribute to the conservation and management imperiled freshwater organisms; Collecting, exchanging, and disseminating information relevant to the conservation and management of imperiled freshwater organisms; and Providing a forum for identifying, bringing attention to, and solving issues and problems relating to the conservation of imperiled freshwater organisms.
  • The International Fisheries Section supports and promotes worldwide fishery education, communication, and research efforts. It works to increase North American fishery scientists’ awareness of the interests, needs, and contributions of their colleagues worldwide, and assists in the international exchange of information and technical advice among fishery workers of all nations. The Section participated in the World Fisheries Congress; publishes an International Directory of fisheries-related organizations and individuals, sponsors symposia at the annual AFS meetings and publishes a quarterly newsletter.
  • The Invasive and Introduced Species Section brings together members interested and involved in the use and management of introduced aquatic organisms, i.e., any aquatic organism moved from one place to another as a result of man’s activities. It coordinates and develops programs to advance the knowledge and concerns related to introduced species and to provide a forum for identifying and bringing attention to bear on the beneficial as well as the potentially harmful effects of introduced species. The Section encourages objective communication among scientists, administrators, managers, educators, aquaculturists, and others interested in the species.____ 
  • The Marine Fisheries Section provides a focus for marine biologists and marine issues in the American  Fisheries Society. To ensure that marine issues and techniques are adequately aired, the Section regularly sponsors one or more symposia at the annual AFS meeting. The MFS is especially interested in maintaining a prominent image for marine issues while preserving dialogue with those that are predominantly freshwater scientists. The Section works to ensure that marine and freshwater scientists recognize their common interests so that salinity, a relatively unimportant factor, does not create an unnecessary and weakening schism.
  • The Native Peoples Fisheries Section evaluates the management of fisheries resources by native peoples with case-history studies and by other means, recommends policy positions on native peoples’ fisheries to the Governing Board, and informs Society members about issues related to native peoples’ fisheries by means of meetings, and publications._____________ 
  • The Physiology Section promotes excellence in the science of fish physiology through improved communication between researchers and other professionals who want current information on physiological processes, tools, and techniques. The Section publishes a newsletter, and will conduct symposia, and workshops to disseminate the results of basic and applied research on fish physiology to the scientific and professional community, resource users, and the general public.
  • The Science Communication Section advances the Society’s promotion of scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources by expanding the science communication knowledge and skills of AFS members.
  • The Socioeconomics Section meets the needs of AFS members for information and advice on social and economic aspects of fisheries. The Section provides a professional forum for identifying and bringing attention to economic and social science education in fisheries, to encourage communication among fisheries scientists, administrators, and others interested in economics and the social sciences, and to encourage publication of papers dealing with economics and social sciences as applied to fisheries. The Section organizes symposia for national and Divisional AFS meetings and encourages publication of social science research in fisheries in AFS journals.
  • The Water Quality Section members are concerned with protection of aquatic habitat and the advancement of water pollution control. The Section encourages the development of improved professional and technical standards in the investigation, abatement and regulation of water pollution problems. It conducts workshops and symposia and produces a timely and lively newsletter.