Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan of the Marine Fisheries Section
American Fisheries Society

Vision – The Marine Fisheries Section will serve as an outstanding source of expertise for maintaining healthy and diverse marine ecosystems. Specifically, the Section will provide sound scientific advice on marine resources to AFS and domestic/international organizations and agencies.

Primary Goals and Overarching Strategy: To achieve the following four goals, the Section will increase scientific and public awareness of marine resource issues by expanding communications with the scientific community and the public at large.
Goal 1: To provide leadership within AFS by advancing and contributing to marine fisheries publications.


  • Nominate outstanding Section members to serve on the Editorial Board of the Society’s open access, on-line journal, Marine & Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science.
  • Contribute to AFS publications and books on current issues in marine fisheries management. In particular, encourage publication in the new journal.
  • Establish links on the Section website to help visitors gain access to various sources of information on marine fisheries issues, legislative bills, adopted legislation, and other related published material.

Goal 2: To initiate policy statements, based on Section member initiatives, and to support AFS in addressing marine resource issues.


  • Draft policies for AFS to consider adopting.
  • Provide AFS with information, analyses, and recommendations on issues and policies.

Goal 3: To recognize both promising young professionals and seasoned scientists who have achieved sustained accomplishments within the marine fisheries profession.


  • Provide travel awards for students to attend annual meetings of AFS.
  • Provide support to the Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship selection committee. Publicize the fellowship and encourage students to apply.
  • Select recipients of the Oscar Elton Sette Award, the Section’s most prestigious award for outstanding performance by a marine fisheries biologist.

Goal 4: To provide resources for scientific and technical meetings.


  • To provide finances, logistics and leadership for scientific and technical sessions hosted by the Section; and to partner with other AFS units and/or external organizations when their goals are closely related to the Section’s.
  • To provide resources, as they are available, to other organizations or academic institutions for scientific and technical meetings or publications that support the Vision and Mission of the AFS Marine Fisheries Section.

Integration with the AFS Strategic Plan for 2010-2014:

The Marine Fisheries Section’s strategic plan is integrated with the AFS strategic plan, especially with respect to the following:

Global fisheries leadership (AFS Goal 1) and sharing science and management on an international scale (AFS Goal 3) are linked with the Section’s Goal 4 which supports scientific and technical meetings and partnerships with others to exchange sound science and management at both the local and the international level, including communications with the general public.


The Section’s Mission and Responsibilities, approved by AFS when the Section was created in 1979, are reproduced here for comparative purposes:

Mission and Responsibilities

  • To maintain an association of scientists involved in marine fisheries
  • To promote the exchange of information relative to marine fisheries science
  • To focus attention on marine fisheries problems and help improve the ability of marine fisheries scientists to provide solutions
  • To conduct workshops and projects, to collect and assemble information for publication and distribution
  • To establish and maintain a registry of marine fisheries scientists to provide a source of contacts for specific areas of expertise