WFC 2016: Standard methods for sampling freshwater fish: Opportunities for global collaboration

Ian J. Winfield (L) and Scott A. Bonar (R)

Ian J. Winfield (L) and Scott A. Bonar (R)

Following a very successful symposium on standard sampling for freshwater fish during the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting in Portland in 2015, AFS members Ian Winfield of the UK and Scott Bonar of the USA subsequently took this initiative onto a truly global stage by convening a follow-up session within the World Fisheries Congress held in Busan, Korea, in May 2016.  With generous sponsorship from BioBase (, BioSonics ( and Echoview (, speakers described their experiences with standard sampling methods in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Mesoamerica, North America and South America.

Winfield stated “I was amazed by the amount of biological and management information about freshwater fish that has been made available in just the last few years because of the ability to examine fish communities across wide regions and over time through method standardization.” 

Presenters discussed the technical challenges of developing robust and feasible standards, and real world issues associated with encouraging and facilitating their wide adoption.  They provided many examples of the diverse and significant benefits that arise from the use of common standards.  The session concluded with a productive discussion which identified a number of potential ways forward for this exciting avenue of global collaboration.


Be sure to check out the following information on AFS Standard Methods: