The American Fisheries Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science and conserving fisheries resources. The 2023 Annual Meeting is designed to bring together deep, multidisciplinary subject-matter expertise to collaboratively educate one another and solve the complex environmental problems facing our society and our planet today. To this end, the entire AFS Meetings team is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and professional environment at AFS 2023.

The entire Code of Conduct for AFS 2023 can be found here:

As a reminder, all members, non-members and other stakeholders must acknowledge the CoC upon registering for the annual meeting. Adherence is required for all registered participants, regardless of society membership status.

Expected professional behavior at AFS 2023 includes:

  • Behave in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Treat all participants, attendees, meeting management, and vendors with respect, dignity, and consideration, in the spirit of valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative in your communication and actions.
  • Communicate with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals in a non-confrontational manner with due regard for the viewpoints of others.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, meeting management, and vendors.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert meeting management or event venue staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules, policies, and property of the meeting venue, hotels, AFS-contracted facility, or any other venue.
  • Respect the decision of those that do not wish to have their presentations photographed or recorded.
  • Turn off any ringers or otherwise disrupting devices during oral or poster sessions.
  • Speak up, intervene, or alert a meeting manager if you observe unacceptable behavior.

Unacceptable Behavior includes, and is not limited to:

  • Harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. Harassment is defined as unwelcome or offensive verbal, visual, or physical contact directed at any participant, including conduct, comments, or images that a person would reasonably find offensive, demeaning, discriminatory, or hostile. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome, unsolicited, and unreciprocated sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or gestures of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to offend, humiliate, or intimidate another person. 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 is harassment, you are expected to stop engaging in such speech or behavior immediately.
  • Inappropriate use of nudity, sexual images, and/or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations.
  • Physical, written, or verbal abuse of any participant.
  • Discriminatory conduct related to age, physical appearance, 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, religion, culture, or any other characteristic.
  • Deliberate intimidation, threatening, or stalking.
  • Harassing photography or recording.
  • Personal use of photographs or posts to social media of another individual’s oral presentation, poster, or likeness when permission is specifically denied by the individual.
  • Behavior that is unruly or disruptive, or that endangers the health or safety of yourself or others.
  • Destruction, theft, dismantlement, defacement, abuse, or intentional misuse of AFS or AFS-contracted venues, property, equipment, signage, or supplies.
  • Accessing restricted or ticketed areas without a proper ticket, pass and/or credential; misusing tickets, passes and/or credentials; presenting a false identification; or permitting another person to falsely present your identification as their own.
  • Failure to comply with directions of meeting management or venue personnel regarding conference operations or emergency response procedures.
  • Retaliation against participants for reporting activity that they reasonably believed to be in violation of this Code.
  • Knowingly and falsely reporting violations of this Code.

Published consequences of unacceptable behavior:

  • Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • Meeting management, an AFS-designated committee, or security may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund.
  • AFS reserves the right to take additional corrective action, including prohibiting attendance at any future meeting.

How to report unacceptable behavior during AFS 2023:

  • Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety is advised to contact 911 or locate a house phone and ask for security.
  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify an AFS meeting manager or the safety officer. Reporting should never be done via social media.
  • After receiving a report of inappropriate behavior, the safety officer will assess the report and work with the complainant to determine the most appropriate response. When necessary, an AFS-designated committee will be notified that a complaint has been received so it can consider appropriate actions.
  • AFS will investigate all reports with discretion and is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in the incident to the greatest extent possible. Participants are required to maintain the confidentiality of materials submitted to or received by AFS under this Code of Conduct. AFS shall make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of relevant materials but may disclose case-related materials or information in response to legal process, when already publicly known, or when AFS leadership otherwise determines disclosure is in the best interests of AFS.
  • The Safety Officer for AFS 2023 can be reached via cell phone at 240-483-9562. If an in-person meeting with the Safety Officer is deemed necessary, a private, unmarked/unadvertised room will be made available for this purpose.
  • Our Safety Officer is an independent contractor who specializes in scientific meeting management and has significant experience working with scientific societies to make their meetings safer and more inclusive. They are not a fisheries biologist and are not directly tied to AFS outside of their contractual agreement to work on the AFS Meetings team.
  • Our Safety Officer will listen to reports, gather relevant information from all involved parties, and investigate issues that may arise during the meeting. They will then consult privately with AFS leadership to determine next steps. They will maintain records of all reports and will always maintain the confidentiality of all parties.

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and professional environment at the 2023 Annual Meeting.

If you experience or witness any unprofessional conduct during the conference, please contact our Safety Officer at 240-483-9562.​​

Consequences of unacceptable behavior are also posted online.  

We thank you all in advance for your adherence to these policies 
and your professional and gracious conduct!