Reflections from the Institute of Fisheries Management 53rd Annual Conference

Assistant Hydro-ecologist Andrew Griffiths looks back at the contribution of JBA colleagues at the Institute of Fisheries Management 53rd Annual Conference and highlights the importance of the conference to the fisheries sector and wider community.

“The Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) held its annual conference on the 8 and 9 November 2022 in Guildford, Surrey. The theme of the conference was engagement, and how increased engagement (not just within the sector but across wider society) can benefit fisheries, communities and the environment. We were proud to co-sponsor the event.

Getting to the conference was tricky, with train strikes and anti-oil protests making travel planning less than straightforward. However, these challenges weren’t enough to deter our intrepid team, such was their thirst for fishy knowledge. Over the course of two days my colleagues and I listened as our peers across the sector presented study findings, novel ideas, experiences and thoughts for the future. Personal highlights included presentations on spawning behaviour of Shad (captured by citizen scientists on the River Severn), an assessment of European eel ability to pass tidal flaps and the mental health benefits associated with volunteering in water environments.

Our contribution included two presentations from JBA Technical Director Jon Whitmore, who described how interactive physical models of rivers and catchments can be used to support education and engagement and also presented a novel solution to eel passage and variable upstream water level.

On the second day, Environment and Sustainability Analyst Nicola Wood explained how floodplain restoration may be an opportunity to maximise delivery of public goods, while Principal Hydro-ecologist Dave Mould argued that Biodiversity Net Gain is a lost opportunity to attract funding for improvements to longitudinal fish connectivity.

The conference attracts the great and the good from across the fisheries community and provides an excellent opportunity to discuss pressing issues, exchange ideas and generally share thoughts. For those just beginning their careers, the event is a great way to introduce themselves to the fisheries community and expand their network. And, of course, an opportunity to catch up with JBA colleagues over pizza and beer!”

Want to know more?

Visit the IFM webpage for more information.

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