American Fisheries Society (AFS) meetings are among the most respected scientific meetings of fisheries professionals in the natural resource scientific community. AFS values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among all attendees, and is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AFS staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, service providers, and others, are expected to abide by this Meetings Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to all AFS meeting-related events, including those sponsored by organizations other than AFS but held in conjunction with AFS events, in public or private facilities.
- Treat all participants, attendees, AFS staff, and vendors with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions, and critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
- Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other attendees, participants, AFS staff, and suppliers/vendors.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert AFS staff or venue event staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
- Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, AFS-contracted facility, or any other venue.
- To foster a welcoming environment, assist AFS members with impaired physical or cognitive abilities, if necessary.
- Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form is unacceptable. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be sure respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior. Regardless of your intent, if you are advised directly or by another party that some aspect of your speech or behavior at an AFS meeting is harassment, you are expected to stop engaging in such speech or behavior.
- Do not physically or verbally abuse any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AFS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
- Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, unwelcome or offensive verbal comments related to age, appearance, or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion. Harassment can also include the use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; bullying behavior; inappropriate physical contact; and unwanted sexual attention.
- Appropriate and responsible personal use of photographs or posts to social media of another individual’s oral presentation, poster, or likeness is acceptable unless permission is specifically denied by the individual.
- Do not disrupt talks at oral or poster session or activities in the exhibit hall or at other events organized by AFS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other AFS-contracted facilities.
- Any retaliation against participants for reporting unacceptable behavior is unacceptable. Like harassment or discrimination, retaliation against reporting poor behavior will be subject to consequences.
Reporting Unacceptable Behavior:
- Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notifying facility security without delay.
- If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, you are encouraged to file a formal complaint to the AFS Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee and/or an AFS officer or the AFS Executive Director which will then be forwarded to the Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee for assessment.
- Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
- Consequences to unacceptable behavior will be determined by the AFS Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee in conjunction with AFS officers and the AFS Executive Director.
- Consequences may include one or more of the following actions:
- Dismissal from the meeting without refund
- Reporting to your agency
- Exclusion from any future AFS (sub unit/chapter/division) meetings for five years
- Revoke of AFS membership without the opportunity for renewal for five years
- If the offense is criminal, local law enforcement will be contacted.
Please report incidents to the Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee using the Code of Conduct Reporting Form.