Constitution and Rules
How the Society operates
The American Fisheries Society operates following a Constitution, Rules and Procedures which have evolved over time. The Constitution provides the basis for Society membership, leadership, committees, and voting. It is the defining document for the Society and takes precedence over all other rules and procedures of the Society. It cannot be suspended, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, and it cannot be changed without prior notice to members.
Rules are established to facilitate the conduct of Society business, and to describe duties and responsibilities of officers and staff. Procedures for amending or suspending Rules are specified in Article X of the Constitution. Jump to Rules…
- ARTICLE I: Names and Objectives
- ARTICLE II: Membership
- ARTICLE III: Officers, Staff, and Elections
- ARTICLE IV: Governing Board and Management Committee
- ARTICLE V: Units of the Society
- ARTICLE VI: Meetings and Voting
- ARTICLE VII: Publications
- ARTICLE VIII: Dues, Fees, and Charges
- ARTICLE IX: Standing Committees
- ARTICLE X: Constitution, Rules and Procedures
ARTICLE I : Names and Objectives
- The name of the corporation is the AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY, hereinafter called the SOCIETY. The term “Society” refers to the corporation as a whole and to its central functions and products; except in the aggregate, it does not refer to the corporation’s organizational units or to their functions or products.
- The Society’s objectives are to:
- Promote the conservation, development, and wise use of the fisheries;
- Promote and evaluate the development and advancement of all branches of fisheries science and practice;
- Gather and disseminate to Society members and the general public scientific, technical, and other information about fisheries science and practice through publications, meetings, and other forms of communication; and
- Encourage the teaching of fisheries science and practice in colleges and universities and the continuing education and development of fisheries professionals.
- The Society may undertake any lawful activity to administer its affairs and attain its objectives, alone or in conjunction with others, except any activity that would cause it to lose its exemption from United States federal taxation as provided by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, in that Section’s present or future form.
ARTICLE II : Membership
- Individuals or institutions interested in the Society and its objectives may become members in one of the following categories. The Governing Board may establish special categories of membership within any of these categories or subclasses.
- ACTIVE MEMBERS are individuals with voting rights in one of the following subclasses.
- GENERAL MEMBERS pay dues annually, and their membership extends through the calendar year (only) for which dues are paid.
- LIFE MEMBERS pay a specified fee and are exempt from further payment of dues to the Society.
- HONORARY MEMBERS are persons who, because of their outstanding professional or other attainments, outstanding service to the Society, or official position, have been elected to permanent dues-free membership in the Society. Honorary Members must be nominated by at least 100 active members and elected by a 2/3 majority of active members present at an annual or special Society meeting. A Life Member elected to Honorary membership retains the privileges of Life membership.
- AFFILIATE MEMBERS are individuals or public or private institutions without voting privileges who wish to support the Society and have paid annual calendar-year dues in one of the following subclasses.
- OFFICIAL MEMBERS are federal, state, provincial, territorial, or intergovernmental institutions.
- CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS are nongovernmental individuals or institutions.
- ACTIVE MEMBERS are individuals with voting rights in one of the following subclasses.
- Members of the Society may elect to be members of one or more Chapters and/or Sections of the Society. Such voluntary memberships are subject to the respective Chapter or Section dues, even if a member is exempt from Society dues.
ARTICLE III : Officers, Staff, and Elections
- Elected Society officers are President, President-elect, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Immediate Past President.
- Only Active Members as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures may be nominated for these elective offices.
- Society officers and committee members, other than the Executive Director and AFS staff serving on committees, shall receive no salary or clerical or other expenses unless approved in advance by the Governing Board.
- Duties of the elected officers shall be as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
- The Governing Board may employ an Executive Director and other Society staff, who shall serve at its pleasure. The Executive Director serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the Society.
- The Executive Director is responsible to the Governing Board and acts with its advice and consent. The Executive Director shall manage the Society’s daily activities, implement Society policies, and advance Society objectives, as set forth in the Constitution, Rules, and Procedures, and in Governing Board directives.
- Salaries and compensation for the Executive Director shall be established by the Governing Board. Salaries and compensation for other Society staff shall be established by the Executive Director.
- The nomination and election of officers shall be conducted as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
ARTICLE IV : Governing Board and Management Committee
- The Governing Board comprises the elected officers, Executive Director, Division presidents and presidents-elect, Section and Chapter presidents, president of the Student Subsection of the Education Section, and Constitutional Consultant, and shall function as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures. A majority of voting Governing Board members constitutes a quorum.
- The Management Committee functions as an Executive Committee of the Governing Board and comprises those members indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
ARTICLE V : Units of the Society
- Units of the Society include Divisions, Chapters, Sections, and Student Subunits as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures
- A unit of the Society may be authorized by the Governing Board if it seems likely to provide a worthwhile and long-term service to the Society.
ARTICLE VI : Meetings and Voting
- Decisions and voting at Society meetings shall be as follows: 50 active members constitute a quorum for transaction of Society business at annual or special meetings.
- In an emergency, the Management Committee may cancel or change the place of an annual Society meeting.
- The Society shall meet once a year. The Management Committee sets the time and place of the annual meeting, and may do so two or more years in advance. Only the President may call special meetings with the approval of the Management Committee. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, meetings are conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.
- Decisions at meetings of the Governing Board are by simple majority of Active Members voting, except 2/3 majorities are required to:
- Amend the Constitution;
- Suspend a Rule; or
- Elect an Honorary Member.
- Any Active Member who cannot attend a Society meeting may request the Executive Director, in writing, to register her or his vote on a previously published question. Such proxy votes must be assigned before the meeting at which the question is considered, and may not be used to establish a quorum.
- Business and voting may be conducted via mail or electronic mail instead of at Society, Governing Board, or Management Committee meetings. An electronic vote must be approved by the President, or the Officers, or Governing Board, or Management Committee, as appropriate, for the issue being considered. All aspects of the vote (quorum, notification, length of time the vote is left open) must follow the approved procedures for the type of issue being considered.
- Members may raise any matter for a Society-wide referendum.
- A referendum is posed in the form of a written petition signed by 400 Active Members or by 10 percent of all Active Members, whichever is less.
- The Executive Director shall provide to the membership each validated referendum and summarized arguments pro and con as soon thereafter as possible. Ballots sent to all Active Members shall specify the date by which they must be returned to the Executive Director; this date will be at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, after ballots are distributed. Decisions will be by simple majority of those voting, except where a 2/3 majority is required. Results of the referendum shall be provided to the membership.
ARTICLE VII : Publications
- Publications serve as a means for the Society to transmit information to its members and to others with a legitimate interest in that information.
- The Society shall produce publications as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
ARTICLE VIII : Dues, Fees, and Charges
- The Management Committee may determine, by a 2/3-majority vote, all Society dues, fees, and charges.
- The Management Committee may elect to transfer a portion of the Society’s annual membership dues to the Divisions and Chapters.
- All monies due the Society shall be remitted to the Executive Director in U.S. currency or the equivalent in the currency of another country.
ARTICLE IX : Standing Committees
- Standing Committees help conduct the Society’s affairs.
- The President shall appoint and charge the chairs and members of all standing committees, as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
ARTICLE X : Constitution, Rules and Procedures
- The Constitution is the defining document for the Society. It takes precedence over all other rules and procedures of the Society. It cannot be suspended, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, and it cannot be changed without prior notice to members.
- The Constitution may be amended by a 2/3 majority of Active Members who vote on an amendment.
- Amendments passed during an annual Society meeting take effect at the close of that meeting. Amendments passed at other times take effect at the close of the first subsequent annual meeting.
- Amendments may be proposed and considered in the following ways.
- They may be brought before an annual or special Society meeting if they have been provided to the membership by the Executive Director at least 30 days before that meeting and if they have been proposed either by 3/4 vote of the Governing Board or a validated petition signed by at least 50 Active Members.
- They may be brought to referendum according to procedures in Article VI.
- Rules are the next highest level of documentation of Society operations. They are generally established to facilitate the conduct of Society business, and to describe duties and responsibilities of officers and staff in that context. They may be suspended or amended as follows, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution.
- The Rules may be suspended until the next annual or special Society meeting by a 2/3 majority of the Governing Board.
- The Rules may be suspended for the duration of a meeting by a 2/3 majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Society meeting.
- The Rules may be amended by a simple majority of Active Members voting at an annual or special Society meeting.
- Procedures are the lowest level of documentation of Society operations. They are generally established to provide continuity in the conduct of Society business. The Procedures may be suspended or amended by a simple majority vote of the Governing Board or Management Committee.
- Order of Business
- Officers, Staff, and Elections
- Governing Board
- Management Committee
- Units of the Society
- Division Areas
- Description of Sections
- Duties of the Executive Director
- Dues, Fees, and Charges
- Receipt of Journals by Life Members
- Travel Expenses
- Standing Committees
1. Order of Business
The agenda for an annual Society business meeting shall include, but need not be limited to, the following items:
- Determination of a quorum
- Call to order by the President
- Introduction of guests and visitors
- Address of the President
- Report of the Executive Director
- Financial Report
- Report of the Resolutions Committee
- Report of the Vote Auditor
- Nomination of Honorary Members
- Other old business
- Installation of new officers
- New business
Resolutions shall be introduced at an annual or special Society business meeting by the Chair of the Resolutions Committee or a designated representative. General resolutions of broad national or international interest to be considered by the Society, including any that units may have approved and wish to nominate for Society action, must be submitted in writing to the Resolutions Committee Chair at least 30 days before the annual meeting or an electronic vote. Internal resolutions that concern the Society may be submitted to the Chair at any time and need not be approved by the Governing Board prior to presentation to the membership. External resolutions must be determined to be relevant and appropriate by the Governing Board in accordance with Article I(2) of the Constitution before presentation to the membership for review or a vote.
3. Officers, Staff, and Elections
- Duties of the elected officers
- The President shall be responsible for Society business; make appointments authorized by the Constitution; establish and appoint special committees and consultants as required; exercise other responsibilities arising from actions of the Society and the Governing Board; chair all Society, Governing Board, and Management Committee meetings; and provide direction to the Executive Director when the Governing Board is not in session.
- The President-elect shall assume the duties of the President when that officer is temporarily or permanently unable to act; select the Chair of the Arrangements Committee for the annual Society meeting two years hence; and serve on committees as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
- The First Vice-president shall assume the duties of the President-elect when that officer is temporarily unable to act and serve on committees as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
- The Second Vice-president shall assume the duties of the First Vice-president when that officer is temporarily unable to act; select the Chair of the Program Committee for the annual Society meeting four years hence; and serve on committees as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
- The Immediate Past-president shall serve on committees as indicated in the Society’s Rules and Procedures.
- Nomination and election of officers
- On or about April 1st of each year, but at least 90 days before an annual Society meeting, the Executive Director shall provide all Active Members a printed or electronic ballot bearing nominations for President-elect, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-president. There must be at least two nominees for Second Vice-president. Members will be allowed at least 30 days from the distribution date to return their printed or electronic ballots to the Vote Auditor.
- Nominations for elective Society offices may be received and processed in two ways.
- The Nominating Committee is obliged to present an annual slate of candidates. This slate must be announced to the membership in the February issue of Fisheries, at least 60 days before ballots are distributed. (see Article III(3) and Procedures)
- Eligible candidates may be nominated in a written petition signed by at least 100 Active Members and presented to the Executive Director by 30 days after the distribution of the February issue of Fisheries, and at least 30 days before ballots are distributed. (see Article III(3) and Procedures)
- The nominee receiving the largest number of votes for each office is elected. If a tie occurs, the Governing Board makes the selection by a majority vote.
- The elected officers—President-elect, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-president—are installed in office during the annual Society meeting immediately following their election, except as indicated below.
- At the installation, the current President-elect and President automatically become President and Immediate Past-president, respectively. The five officers retain office until the next annual Society meeting.
- If an election of officers is invalidated for any reason, the current officers will retain their positions and responsibilities until a new election can be held.
- If a valid election of officers occurs but the annual Society meeting is canceled or postponed more than one month, new officers will be installed without formal ceremony at the originally scheduled time of the meeting. Should an annual Society meeting be postponed one month or less, the transition of officers will occur at that meeting, as usual.
- If an election of new officers cannot be completed before that year’s annual Society meeting, the installation and transition of officers shall occur without formal ceremony as soon after the meeting as election results are validated. Current officers and appointed committee members retain their positions and responsibilities until that time.
4. Governing Board
- The Executive Director, Chapter presidents, president of the Student Subsection of the Education Section, and Constitutional Consultant have no vote on the Governing Board.
- A majority of voting Governing Board members constitutes a quorum.
- Except for Society officers, voting members of the Governing Board may be represented at a Governing Board meeting by any past-president or a current elected officer of their respective unit, provided such alternates are designated in writing to the Executive Director before the meeting. Alternates have full voting powers, but may not be contemporary members of the Governing Board, and may represent only one voting member at each meeting.
- The Governing Board meets in conjunction with the annual Society meeting and approximately midyear between annual meetings. Such meetings are open to Society members. The Governing Board may meet in camera to discuss personnel, but the President must announce any decisions made as the first order of business in a meeting following such a session.
- The Governing Board decides Society policies, leads Society strategic planning initiatives, and reviews Society business matters that need membership approval.
5. Management Committee
- The Management Committee comprises the following:
- AFS President (chair), President-elect, First Vice-president, Second Vice-president, and Immediate Past-president;
- The presidents of two Divisions and presidents-elect of the two alternative Divisions. The presidents-elect remain on the Committee during their presidential year;
- Four Division or Section members on the Governing Board (voting or not) elected at large by the Governing Board; and
- Executive Director, Constitutional Consultant, and such others as the President may appoint (nonvoting).
- All Management Committee members may vote, regardless of their voting status on the Governing Board (except as noted above).
- A majority of voting Management Committee members constitutes a quorum.
- The Management Committee meets monthly and handles general oversight of Society operations, including budget approval; Executive Director activities and, through him/her, staff activities; society-wide meetings; communications with membership, external partners, and government entities; and matters related to and affecting Society Procedures.
6. Units of the Society
- The following are classes of Society units.
- DIVISIONS are geographically defined units intended to advance the Society’s objectives over broad regions. Division boundaries follow existing political boundaries.
- A petition to create a new Division must be signed by at least 200 Active Members from the geographic region of that Division.
- Division presidents and presidents-elect are voting members of the Society Governing Board, and the president shall report on Division activities at Governing Board meetings. Chairs of Division membership and resolutions committees serve, respectively, on the Society Membership and Resolutions committees. Each Division annually selects one representative to the Society Nominating Committee.
- The Division secretary-treasurer shall send minutes of the annual Division business meeting to the Executive Director within 30 days of the meeting.
- Divisions may levy special fees.
- Society members who reside within a Division’s geographic area are members of that Division unless they notify the Executive Director in writing that they wish to be members of another Division. Society members who reside outside of Division boundaries may request Division affiliation by writing to the Executive Director.
- The transfer of a geographic area from one Division to another may be requested by a petition signed by 25 Active Members residing in that area, or by 10% of resident members if this is fewer. Upon receipt of the petition, the Executive Director shall conduct a ballot of all members in the area. If 2/3 of those voting favor a transfer, the petition shall be transmitted to the Governing Board for approval.
- CHAPTERS are geographically defined units intended to advance the Society’s objectives over more localized areas than Divisions. Chapter boundaries may not cross Division lines, but otherwise they need not follow political boundaries. Chapters may form in areas not covered by existing Divisions.
- A petition to create a new Chapter must be signed by at least 25 Active Members from the geographic area of that Chapter.
- If a Chapter occurs within a Division, its president is a voting member of the Division’s executive committee and, if unable to attend a meeting of that body, may designate any past-president or a current elected officer of the Chapter as an alternate. Chairs of Chapter membership committees serve on the respective Division membership committees.
- The secretary-treasurer of a Chapter shall submit minutes of the annual Chapter business meeting to the Executive Director and to the secretary-treasurer of the Division within 30 days after the annual Chapter meeting is held.
- Chapters may levy dues and special fees to meet expenses.
- STUDENT SUBUNITS are defined by academic institutions and are maintained under the auspices of Chapters. They are intended to advance the Society’s objectives through involvement of student members at the level of colleges and universities.
- A petition to create a Student Subunit must be signed by at least 6 Active Members and an AFS member faculty advisor at the University or College. Formation of a Student Subunit shall be overseen by the Chapter within whose geographical boundaries it occurs.
- The Student Subunit operates under the auspices of the Chapter within whose geographical boundaries it occurs.
- SECTIONS are units defined by professional interests, and are intended to advance the Society’s objectives within the various disciplines of fisheries science and practice. Sections have no geographic boundaries.
- A petition to create a new Section must be signed by at least 100 Active Members.
- Section presidents are members of the Society Governing Board and shall report on Section activities at Governing Board meetings.
- The Section secretary-treasurer shall send minutes of the annual Section business meeting to the Executive Director within 30 days after the meeting is held.
- Sections may levy dues and special fees to meet expenses.
- DIVISIONS are geographically defined units intended to advance the Society’s objectives over broad regions. Division boundaries follow existing political boundaries.
- A unit may itself create smaller organizational subunits to serve its purposes, but these subunits shall not act without unit approval.
- A new unit or student subunit becomes official when the following conditions have been met:
- Its petition for recognition, clearly defining its intended purpose and its geographic or disciplinary boundaries, and signed by the number of Active Members specified in Rules Section 6 has been approved by the membership at an annual or special meeting; a Chapter petition also must be approved by the officers of the Division in which the new Chapter may reside; a student subunit petition also must be approved by the officers of the Chapter in which the new subunit will reside.
- Its bylaws have been approved by the Management Committee for conformity with the Society’s Constitution, Rules, and Procedures.
- It has elected a slate of officers as specified in Rules Section 6(d) and reported it to the Executive Director.
- In the case of a Section, it has demonstrated at least 50 membership pledges.The Executive Director has notified the unit president in writing that the unit’s petition, bylaws, and elections have been approved. The letter date is the unit’s founding date.
- Only Active Members of the Society may hold a unit office, chair a unit committee, or vote on unit affairs. Among its elected officers, a unit must have at least a president, a president-elect or vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer or secretary and treasurer, whose duties must be defined in the unit’s bylaws. In the case of a Student Subunit that has joint affiliation with the Society and at least one other professional society, either the President or Vice President must be an Active Member of the Society.
- Amendments of unit bylaws must be reviewed by the Management Committee for conformity with the Society’s Constitution, Rules, and Procedures, and do not take effect until the Executive Director has sent written notice of their approval by the Management Committee.
- A unit may hold meetings, sponsor symposia, disseminate information, adopt resolutions, and engage in other activities that advance Society objectives and conform to the Society’s Constitution, Rules, and Procedures. Actions and resolutions of a unit shall be identified only with that unit unless formally adopted by the Society or another unit.
- Units may be dissolved under the following conditions:
- Grounds for dissolution of a unit arise if that unit fails to comply with, or overtly contravenes, its own bylaws or the Society’s Constitution, Rules, and Procedures, or if it otherwise ceases to be an active, effective arm of the Society.
- A unit may be dissolved by a 2/3 vote of the Governing Board.
- The Governing Board must review the status of any Section whose membership falls below 50, and consider a recommendation for that Section’s termination.
- If a unit is dissolved, its assets and records revert to the Society for disposal in the best interests of the unit’s former members or of the Society, as decided by the Governing Board.
7. Division Areas
Areas prescribed for the Divisions follow.
- NORTH CENTRAL DIVISION: states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in the United States; provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Saskatchewan in Canada.
- NORTHEASTERN DIVISION: states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont in the United States; provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec in Canada.
- SOUTHERN DIVISION: states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia in the United States; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands; other Caribbean islands.
- WESTERN DIVISION: states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming in the United States; U.S. islands and trust territories in the west Pacific Ocean; provinces of British Columbia and the Yukon in Canada; Mexico.
8. Description of Sections
- The BIOENGINEERING SECTION is an association of members who wish to enhance the relationship between fisheries scientists and engineers, and to promote the use and exchange of bioengineering information throughout the fisheries profession.
- The CANADIAN AQUATIC RESOURCES SECTION is an association of members who wish to promote the conservation, development, and wise management of aquatic resources in Canada within the context of sound ecological principles and sustainability, to provide coordination for review of and comment upon government proposed legislation and policy within Canada, and to facilitate Society policy development and review pertaining to Canadian aquatic resources issues.
- The EARLY LIFE HISTORY SECTION is an association of members who wish to advance knowledge about the biology of fish eggs, embryos, larvae, and early juveniles and about associated aspects of reproduction, and to promote the exchange of information on these topics.
- The EDUCATION SECTION is an association of members who wish to improve the quality of education for fisheries scientists, to exchange educational information, and to develop and coordinate programs in continuing education in response to needs of the profession.
- The EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES SECTION is an association of members for the promotion of employment, education, scholarship, participation, professionalism, and recruitment for all individuals in the fisheries profession.
- The ESTUARIES SECTION provides a Society-wide forum for discussing and resolving the major multidisciplinary, multi-organizational issues concerning United States and Canadian estuaries. It will assume a leadership/liaison function with other professional societies involved with estuarine issues and will provide a forum at international meetings for discussion and presentation of major estuarine issues to the membership through seminars and sessions at annual meetings.
- The FISH CULTURE SECTION is an association of members concerned with advancing cultivation technology of aquatic organisms for food, recreation (sport and ornamentals), habitat enhancement, and conservation. The Section disseminates information about fish culture to professionals and the lay public; it strives to support and enhance fish culture programs of private, governmental, and international entities.
- The FISH HABITAT SECTION is an association of members interested in advancing the knowledge of and promoting the exchange of information pertinent to the broad scope of multidisciplinary fish habitat issues, including marine, estuarine and fresh waters.
- The FISH HEALTH SECTION is an association of members involved in the health of fish and other aquatic animals who wish to focus attention on fish health problems through research, education, and dissemination of appropriate information and to foster effective fish health practices through communication and cooperation with government and private interests.
- The FISHERIES ADMINISTRATION SECTION is an association of members who have a stake in the administration of fisheries agencies or programs; and who wish to encourage timely discussions and exchanges of information on issues that impact fisheries management programs and users.
- The FISHERIES HISTORY SECTION is an association of members who wish to encourage the preservation and collection of fisheries history and to stimulate the interpretation and dissemination of fisheries history.
- The FISHERIES INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY SECTION is an association of members interested in the application of electronic digital equipment, software, and information for fisheries research and management.
- The FISHERIES LAW SECTION is an association of members who wish to promote understanding of fisheries-related law, and to act as a resource for the Society and its members with respect to analysis of legislative bills, legal positions, and legal issues as these relate to fisheries.
- The FISHERIES MANAGEMENT SECTION is an association of members who wish to develop new management concepts and techniques as well as programs in education and communication to solve fisheries management problems.
- The GENETICS SECTION is an association of members who wish to facilitate transfer of fish genetics information, to coordinate interaction among any group involved in fish genetics activities, to coordinate research efforts, and to facilitate policies addressing conservation of our native fish stocks.
- The IMPERILED AQUATIC SPECIES SECTION is an association of members who are interested in and involved in conservation and management of imperiled aquatic organisms.
- The INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES SECTION is an association of members who wish to support and promote worldwide fishery education, communication, and research efforts, and to assist in the international exchange of information including the provision of technical advice among fishery workers of all nations.
- The INTRODUCED FISH SECTION is an association of members who wish to foster greater knowledge about exotic fishes, and to communicate issues regarding the effects of these species on indigenous fishes and their habitats.
- The MARINE FISHERIES SECTION is an association of members who wish to attain further knowledge about marine fisheries, to identify and publicize issues and problems related to development and management of marine fisheries, and to address research and education needs associated with biological, economic, social, environmental, and other aspects of marine fisheries.
- NATIVE PEOPLES’ FISHERIES SECTION is an association of members who evaluate the management of fishery resources by native peoples with case-history studies and by other means, recommends policy positions on native peoples’ fisheries to the Governing Board, and informs Society members of issues related to native peoples’ fisheries by means of meetings and publications.
- The PHYSIOLOGY SECTION is an association of members who wish to promote excellence in the science of fish physiology through improved communications between researchers and other professionals who want current information on physiological processes, tools, and techniques.
- The SCIENCE COMMUNICATION SECTION advances the Society’s promotion of scientific research and sustainable management of fisheries resources by expanding the science communication knowledge and skills of AFS members.
- The SOCIOECONOMICS SECTION is an association of members who wish to further the knowledge of economics and social sciences as applied to fisheries, and to provide a forum for socioeconomic issues and problems in fisheries development and management.
- The WATER QUALITY SECTION is an association of members involved in the protection of watersheds, water quality and aquatic habitat, and in the abatement of water pollution and aquatic habitat and watershed deterioration. It encourages improved professional and technical standards in the investigation, abatement, and regulation of water pollution, aquatic habitat, and watershed problems. The Section objectively focuses attention on watershed, aquatic habitat, and water quality concerns. It communicates improved methods for solving relevant issues by conducting workshops and projects, collecting and assembling information for publication, and distributing results to Society members and the public.
9. Duties of the Executive Director
- The Executive Director is responsible to the Governing Board and acts with its advice and consent. As the Society’s executive officer, the Executive Director shall:
- Manage the Society’s daily activities;
- Implement Society policies and advance Society objectives as set forth in the Constitution and Rules, and in Governing Board directives;
- Represent the Society in all business operations, including fund raising, and, if authorized by the President, on all other matters when the President or other officers are unable to do so;
- Be responsible for Fisheries and act as Senior Editor;
- Communicate with the membership by means of Fisheries, electronic and other communications, and attendance, when feasible, at unit meetings;
- Present an annual report to the Society and at least monthly activity reports to the Management Committee;
- Be a nonvoting member of the Board of Professional Certification, Management, Resource Policy, and Membership committees.
- Assist in the effective functioning of units and committees, and participating in unit and committee meetings; and
- Aid in the establishment of the Society’s strategic direction.
- As Society secretary, the Executive Director shall:
- Maintain the Society’s official records; and
- Arrange Society, Management Committee, and Governing Board meetings, the former with aid of the Arrangements Committee.
- As Society treasurer, the Executive Director shall:
- Be protected by a surety bond in an amount determined by the Governing Board, the premiums for which shall be paid by the Society;
- Collect and receive all monies due or granted to the Society, and have custody of Society funds; and
- Pay all Society accounts owed and make other expenditures authorized by the Governing Board.
- As Society business manager, the Executive Director shall:
- Prepare an annual Society budget for Management Committee approval;
- Employ and discharge staff necessary for Society business, and direct all staff;
- Rent or otherwise acquire office quarters for business transactions and protection of Society assets and records;
- Have custody of the Society’s library, including its archives and publications;
- Oversee promotion and sales of Society publications and other Society services and products;
- Recommend to the Management Committee at the midyear meeting pricing of major items (e.g., membership dues, journal subscription prices) for the following year; and
- Promote the development of Society membership.
10. Dues, Fees, and Charges
- Annual dues and categories of membership are set by the Management Committee.
- Members in the following categories pay dues as specified.
- Full-time students, certified as such by a faculty member at their institution, pay no more than one-half the general dues.
- Early Career Professionals, defined as recent school graduates up to five years after graduation, pay no more than one-half of the general dues.
- Senior Members (age 65 or older) pay one-half the general dues.
- The Life Member fee is set by the Management Committee. The Management Committee may suspend the availability of new Life memberships, which suspension shall be effective immediately, without prejudice to current Life Members or to their benefits. Life Membership is automatically conferred on all Past Presidents, and the fee is waived.
- In accordance with Article VIII(2) of the Constitution, a portion of annual dues are transferred by the Management Committee to the Divisions and Chapters. These funds shall provide financial support for activities and services that directly benefit AFS members in their respective geographic areas. These funds shall not exceed 13% of the annual dues paid by General Members (excluding Student Members, Life Members, Senior Members, and Honorary Members). The 13% shall be divided such that Divisions will receive 10%, and Chapters will receive 3%. The amount available to an individual Division or Chapter shall be based on the number of General Members affiliated with that unit. The Management Committee may elect to allocate a smaller proportion of these annual dues if the board deems it financially prudent to do so. If less than 13% of the dues are allocated, Divisions will receive a share equal to 10/13, and Chapters will receive a share equal to 3/13 of the allocation provided for that year. The Society shall pay the Divisions and Chapters annually.
11. Receipt of Journals by Life Members
Lifetime members receive electronic access to all AFS journals.
12. Travel Expenses
Travel expenses for the officers of the Society to attend Society and unit meetings and for the Constitutional Consultant to attend Governing Board meetings may be authorized in advance by the Management Committee.
- The Society shall publish the following publications
- Journals entitled Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, containing articles primarily related to fisheries science; North American Journal of Fisheries Management, containing articles primarily related to fisheries management; North American Journal of Aquaculture, containing articles primarily related to fish culture; Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, containing articles primarily related to aquatic animal health; and Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, containing articles primarily related to marine, coastal, and estuarine fisheries. Articles will be published in annual, serially numbered volumes. Each journal shall have an editorial board, chaired by its editor and appointed annually by the President on the advice of its editor, to aid in the formulation and discharge of editorial policy for that journal. The President may delegate authority to the editor to appoint board members, subject to the approval of the President.
- The magazine Fisheries, containing Society news and business and articles of general interest to the membership, will be published in annual, serially numbered volumes.
- Other publications will be produced as authorized by the Governing Board.
- Society publications shall be distributed as follows.
- Life Members shall receive Fisheriesand the number of journals according to the policy at the time they became life members. Other publications may be purchased.
- Each Official Member shall receive all Society periodicals.
- Members not named above shall receive Fisheries and may purchase other publications.
- Libraries, organizations, and individuals may purchase library subscriptions.
- Publications may be provided for any special categories of membership as established by the Governing Board. (see Rules Section 13(a))
- Society publications may be subject to page charges against authors or their institutions.
- Editorial standards and quality control procedures for each scientific and technical publication proposed by a unit shall be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director. Following such action, units may produce, distribute, and charge for their publications.
14. Standing Committees
- The President shall appoint and charge the chairs and members of all standing committees within 30 days after the annual Society meeting unless otherwise specified. The President may delegate authority to the chair to appoint members, subject to the approval of the President. All appointees must be Active Members, and their terms of duty extend to the end of the next annual meeting if not stipulated otherwise. Standing Committee chairs should report their committees’ activities, findings, and recommendations at annual and interim meetings of the Governing Board. The structure and operating procedures of all standing committees shall be described in the Society’s Procedures.
- The Society has established the following standing committees:
- ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE makes the physical arrangements for the annual Society meeting, administers registration, collects all fees, and generates publicity for the meeting. The Chair also serves as General Chair for the annual Society meeting, providing overall coordination of the other committees related to the annual meeting of the Society (Program, Continuing Education, and Raffle as they relate to the meeting). The Chair is selected at least two years prior to the meeting.
- AUDIT COMMITTEE conducts an audit of Society finances and provides a report to the Executive Director and President concerning the results and any recommendations.
- AWARDS COMMITTEE nominates candidates for Society-level awards including the Award of Excellence, Carl R. Sullivan Conservation Award, Distinguished Service Award, Meritorious Service Award, Outstanding Chapter Award, President’s Fishery Conservation Award, William E. Ricker Resource Conservation Award, and any other such awards as may be approved by the Governing Board.
- BOARD OF APPEALS considers appeals from fisheries professionals whose applications for original or renewed certification have been denied by the Board of Professional Certification. Only Certified Fisheries Professionals may serve on the board.
- BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION certifies fisheries professionals based on standards and requirements adopted by the Governing Board. Only Certified Fisheries Professionals may serve on the Board. Board members’ terms are three years.
- CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE provides leadership and oversight for AFS communications, outreach, policy, programs, and activities related to the effects of climate change on fisheries and other aquatic resources.
- COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE assists and advises the President, units, and staff on strategic planning, implementation, and training for internal and external communications functions and products. The Committee sets criteria and guidelines to ensure quality control of all communications sponsored by the Society.
- CONSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT assists and advises the President on parliamentary procedure at all meetings of the Society, Governing Board, and Management Committee. The Constitutional Consultant reviews all proposed amendments to the Constitution and assists the Executive Director with their presentation to the members prior to a vote. The Constitutional Consultant reviews all proposed amendments to unit bylaws and bylaws of new units for conformity with the Society’s Constitution, and presents them to the Management Committee with recommendations for approval. The Constitutional Consultant serves for one year as an Apprentice before being the lead consultant for a minimum term of two years.
- DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COMMITTEE provides oversight for AFS efforts to increase and maintain diversity in membership and the fisheries profession, and to assure that all AFS activities and programs are fully inclusive. Annually assesses AFS initiatives and programs related to diversity and inclusion, and makes recommendations for improvement to the Executive Director, Officers, and Governing Board. The Committee operates in close coordination with the Equal Opportunities Section, and other Sections whenever appropriate.
- ELECTRONIC SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD provides oversight and coordination for electronic membership services, including those pertaining to AFS communications, publications, meetings, unit functions, and the content and structure of the AFS web site. Its goal is to maintain high standards of technical content and presentation, ease and continuity of membership access, and review of new electronic tools for membership services according to policies set forth in the current Strategic Plan of the Society.
- ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE educates members about the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Committee also will periodically review and update these standards. The Committee is the authorized body to review any cases regarding ethics forwarded by the Society President. The Committee will determine any procedures for evaluating professional conduct, with special care devoted to maintaining a balanced and fair assessment. The Committee shall maintain confidentiality with respect to all cases and is authorized to review the facts and findings of all prior ethics cases in which the cases may provide precedent or guidance to the Committee in reaching a decision.
- FELLOWS SELECTION COMMITTEE receives nomination packets and elects deserving nominees as new Fellows.
- HUTTON COMMITTEE oversees the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program, a summer mentoring program for high school students designed to stimulate interest in careers in fisheries science and management among groups underrepresented in the fisheries professions.
- IMPERILED SPECIES COMMITTEE provides leadership for the Society on issues affecting the imperilment of aquatic species and their ecosystems. Committee provides technical assistance to all levels of the Society on issues concerning imperiled species. Maintains a database of imperiled species for use by the membership and the public based on the most up-to-date information available.
- INVESTMENT COMMITTEE reviews Society investments and provides recommendations to the Executive Director and President concerning current and potential investments of AFS funds with the overall goal of growing capital.
- LIAISONS enhance communication and cooperation between the Society and allied professional societies, councils, federations, and boards.
- MEETING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE provides overall meetings review for the Society to ensure coherent planning and development of Society and unit meetings.
- MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE maintains or increases Society membership and recommends appropriate measures to attract new members and retain existing members. Monitors attitudes of members toward the Society by means of surveys, correspondence, and other avenues of communication. Recommends programs to address membership professional needs and problems.
- NAMES OF AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES COMMITTEE deals with matters concerning the common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates, and prepares checklists of names to achieve uniformity and avoid confusion in nomenclature. The Committee coordinates its activities with those of other organizations worldwide. The Chair is custodian of the master checklists.
- NAMES OF FISHES COMMITTEE deals with matters concerning common and scientific names of fishes, and prepares checklists of names to achieve uniformity and avoid confusion in nomenclature. The Committee coordinates its activities with those of other ichthyological organizations worldwide. This is a joint committee with the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. The Chair is custodian of the master checklist.
- NOMINATING COMMITTEE names a slate of candidates for the Society offices of President-elect, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-president according to procedures approved by the Governing Board; it must name at least two candidates for Second Vice-president. (see Rules Section 3(b)(i))
- PAST CONSTITUTIONAL CONSULTANT’S ADVISORY COUNCIL provides parliamentary advice and support to the Constitutional Consultant. Identifies candidates for the Apprentice Constitutional Consultant position.
- PAST PRESIDENTS’ ADVISORY COUNCIL identifies ways or develops an organizational structure for greater participation by retirees. Identifies candidates for Honorary Membership in the Society
- PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE assesses the professional development and training needs of the fisheries profession and works in close coordination with the American Fisheries Society’s (AFS) Chapters, Sections, and Divisions to develop and administer a comprehensive professional development program.
- PROGRAM COMMITTEE assembles and administers the program for the annual Society meeting. The Chair is selected four years in advance.
- PUBLICATIONS AWARD COMMITTEE evaluates papers published in the five journals by the Society and annually selects the single paper from each journal to receive the “Best Paper Award.”
- PUBLICATIONS OVERVIEW COMMITTEE provides overall publication and editorial review for the Society to ensure coherent planning and development of Society and unit publication programs.
- RAFFLE COMMITTEE organizes and conducts a Society raffle held in conjunction with the annual meeting with proceeds going to AFS and distributed by the Management Committee.
- RESOURCE POLICY COMMITTEE helps the Society evaluate and develop resource policies by assessing concerns of the membership, by advising the President and Executive Director about aquatic resource issues, and by producing or coordinating draft resource policy statements for Society approval.
- VOTE AUDITOR oversees procedures for electronic voting and officer elections. The Vote Auditor confirms the results of electronic votes (or for mail ballots, counts the election ballots), transmits the results to the President and Executive Director within 30 days of the closing date of the election or vote, and announces the results at the annual Society meeting or through other appropriate means. The Vote Auditor sends electronic results and/or mail ballots to the Executive Director, who shall hold them at least 90 days after the announcement of the results.
Most recent revisions adopted by AFS membership in August 2018
(John Boreman, Constitutional Consultant)