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International fisheries conference bringing thousands of scientists to Portland

American Fisheries Society conference returns to Portland with more than 100 symposia planned

NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region

Thousands of fisheries scientists from around the world will gather in Portland Aug. 16-20 for what is likely to be one of the largest-ever conferences of the American Fisheries Society, featuring hundreds of presentations and talks on the latest advances in fisheries research and conservation.

Conference topics range from the rich fisheries of the Pacific Northwest and the effects of climate change on fish populations to new approaches and technology for fisheries research. The conference will also feature the first AFS film festival showcasing the connections between people, fish and fisheries and innovative ways of conserving fish and their habitat. Films at the film festival will be shown repeatedly over a two-day period so many can see them.

"The Pacific Northwest is known for its natural landscapes and native fish resources, so it's a fitting host for one of our largest and most ambitious conferences yet," said Donna Parrish, president of the American Fisheries Society. "This is a tremendous opportunity for experts in the field to share what they're learning and build their knowledge, which benefits the science and, of course, the fish."

The conference and associated trade show will take place at the Oregon Convention Center and will feature keynote addresses by top fisheries scientists from the Northwest and the nation. More than 2,500 scientific abstracts have been submitted for presentations at the more than 100 symposia featuring key topics and emerging issues in fisheries science. More than 3,000 are expected to attend.

Several symposia center on salmon and steelhead in the Northwest and California but others extend widely to fisheries topics around the world, including the response of fish to dam removals, fish hatcheries and aquaculture, effects of ocean acidification and invasive species. The meeting also offers opportunities for fun, including a "Spawning Run" five-kilometer run Aug. 19.

"This is truly an international event and a chance to share the Northwest's leadership in fisheries science as well as everything that makes Portland and Oregon so special, from our scenery to microbrews," said Dave Ward, one of two coordinators of the conference. The meeting will offer many social and networking opportunities, including an evening of local food and music in the South Park blocks and nearby theaters on Aug. 19.

Visit the conference website for more information and follow the conference on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and details on registration and events.

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The mission of AFS 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. Membership is mostly drawn from the scientific community but also includes other fisheries professionals such as managers, administrators, educators and consultants.

Editor's note: Reporters who wish to cover the conference may receive complimentary registrations by contacting Beth Beard at the American Fisheries Society as described above.

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