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Nine proposed action areas to enhance diversity and inclusion in the American Fisheries Society


Ivan Arismendi
Christine M. Moffitt
Zachary L. Penney



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Northwest Research Station


Fisheries. 42(8): 399-402


Increasing diversity in the fisheries profession, including diversity of members of the American Fisheries Society (AFS), is vital to ensuring the future relevance of fish and their habitats, fisheries, and fisheries professionals in the broader context of society. Any well-informed natural resource professional understands the value of a diverse ecosystem, and savvy investors know that their portfolios must contain diverse investments. Similarly, the fisheries profession will be stronger and more resilient if it better represents the society it serves.
The following article by Penaluna et al. suggests nine action areas to enhance diversity and inclusion in AFS. Their suggested actions are timely because developing and implementing strategies to make meaningful progress in increasing diversity throughout the fisheries profession constitutes one of the key aspects of my presidential plan of work. To “move the needle” on diversity, we will need action across all sectors of the profession to open the valves in a pipeline that currently produces only a trickle of diverse candidates for fisheries jobs. Many valves in the talent pipeline require opening: improving current conditions to retain diverse talent, recruitment of diverse candidates to undergraduate university programs, fellowships or other incentives to fund diverse candidates in graduate schools, functional internship programs in all employment sectors of the profession to enhance experiential learning, and realistic job prospects for graduates. AFS is uniquely positioned to assist in this effort because it represents fisheries professionals in education and all employment sectors.
Our renewed emphasis on increasing diversity and inclusion in AFS is an opportunity to purposely build an even better professional society that more broadly represents those interested in fish and fisheries as well as fisheries professionals. One of the most important tasks of a leader is to develop the future capacity of an organization, to make it stronger after the leader is gone. As incoming AFS president, I welcome the opportunity and challenge of serving you and building a Society that is even stronger, more diverse, and more resilient than it is today.


Penaluna, Brooke E.; Arismendi, Ivan; Moffitt, Christine M.; Penney, Zachary L. 2017. Nine proposed action areas to enhance diversity and inclusion in the American Fisheries Society. Fisheries. 42(8): 399-402.


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