Thank you to the international fisheries community for submitting over 100 Expressions of Interest. If you missed the Call for Expressions of Interest, and have ideas or suggestions you would like to share please e-mail:  Details of the Call for Expressions of Interest can be found below.

The Call for Abstracts will open in October 2019.

The Congress theme is “Sharing our oceans and rivers – a vision for the world’s fisheries”.

The World Fisheries Congress 2020 (WFC2020) aims to have a diverse, exciting and broad reaching conference to showcase the world’s commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries. The Congress will advance and promote international developments, demonstrate new research and technologies, and foster cooperation and engagement in fisheries science and management. With increasing pressures from fishing and non-fishing activities, the Congress will provide an important forum for identifying the critical developments needed over the coming decades to ensure the world’s oceans, estuaries, lakes and rivers are used sustainably for the benefit of current and future generations.

We welcome you to be part of this exciting opportunity to set the future directions for the world’s fisheries and lead/engage in these critical discussions. We understand that your contribution will be paramount to the success of this important forum and would like to invite you to co-create the Congress program.

We are seeking expressions of interest to lead innovative sessions, symposia and education and training workshops. As well as traditional approaches, we encourage you to think outside the box and consider alternatives to the normal conference formats (e.g. interactive ‘Ask me anything’ sessions, light-speed presentations, fishbowl panel discussion, debates, workshops). We also encourage commercial, recreational and indigenous sector led sessions, as well as student led sessions.

WFC2020 will promote a dynamic and contemporary program that will test current thinking and practices on opportunities to enhance global fisheries, and the challenges of fishing sustainably and maintaining prosperous fishing communities.

Some of the strategic questions that may be addressed in plenaries and themed sessions include:

  • Have fisheries management practices and sustainability improved over the last 30 years since the first World Fisheries Congress, and where do we need to be in the next 30 years?
  • What will fisheries, fisheries science and management look like in 2050? What will be the main drivers of fisheries change?
  • How are fisheries (commercial, recreational, indigenous and artisanal) going to be managed and supported in the future?
  • What progress has been made in managing international and multi-jurisdictional fisheries? What are the best examples of success? Where do the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations need to be?
  • What are the world’s best fisheries management practices?
  • Are quota managed fisheries more likely to be sustainable than those that aren’t? What are the experiences/challenges for smaller fisheries moving to transferable property rights?
  • What is the real status of the world’s fisheries and the effectiveness of performance reporting?
  • How do we move forward in assessing data-limited fisheries?
  • What progress has been made in incorporating fisheries management into an integrated framework that considers other sectors and uses, and aims to balance ecological, economic, and social outcomes? How far have we come and where to next? Do we need to do so?
  • What systems have been established for trading-off environmental flows, water extraction, social and cultural needs, fishing and the ecological health of lakes, rivers and estuaries?
  • Spatial management in fisheries: what is the role of marine protected areas versus fishery closures? Can a reserve system be used to sustain freshwater systems and fisheries?
  • Why do the public perceive fisheries to be in decline, even in countries where there has been demonstrable progress and success?
  • How do we “de-science” science to improve community understanding and better engage the fishing sectors?
  • How do we better inform and advocate for threatened fish conservation?
  • What is the future for data collection – advanced technologies, data storage and management, citizen science, industry co-management?

If you are interested in leading any of the above or suggesting additional sessions, please e-mail

If you require additional information, please contact:

Co-chairs International Program Committee, WFC2020