About the Conference

Map of the locations of all first authors.

Map of the locations of all first authors.


The conference will be held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy, 26 – 28 January 2015. FAO is located in the heart of Rome across from the Circus Maximus and it offers a wide variety of meeting rooms and facilities.

Conference Vision and Goals

As global attention has become increasingly focused on the depletion of many marine fisheries, freshwater fisheries around the world are facing their own challenges. Inland fisheries are critical food resource, especially in much of the developing world, yet agricultural, water management, and investment policies are often at odds with maintaining their long-term sustainability. A lack of reliable data and a local, rather than global approach, to inland fisheries issues has hampered international monitoring and conservation programs.

In Rome in January 2015, a ground-breaking conference will for the first time address the challenges and opportunities for freshwater fisheries on a global scale. Never before have scientists, policy makers, and the international development community gathered together to discuss the food security, economic, and ecological issues associated with inland fisheries around the world. This global conference is a cross-sectoral call to raise the profile of inland fisheries and better incorporate them in agricultural, land use, and water resource planning through development of improved assessment frameworks and value estimation.

The conference will include commercial, subsistence, aquaculture, and recreational fisheries, as well as the broad context of ecosystem services provided by inland aquatic systems. The inland fisheries conference is sponsored by Michigan State University and will be held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Locations of research sites for all conference presentations.

Locations of research sites for all conference presentations.

Goals and Themes

The conference will communicate the value of inland fisheries to policy makers and the public; review assessment and valuation strategies; recommend policy commitments; provide policy makers with the means to better integrate inland fisheries into development planning processes; identify critical pathways in water resource allocation, climate change adaptation, food security and nutrition, and biodiversity conservation; develop recommendations for measurable global targets; and synthesize the conference contributions and deliberations into a white paper.

The conference is organized into four themes, each with its own panel chair and members:

Biological Assessment: Explore and develop new approaches to assess the production and status of inland fish stocks and their fisheries.

Economic and Social Assessment: Explore and develop new approaches to provide monetary and nonmonetary value to fisheries, including importance to human health, personal well-being, and societal prosperity. Showcase proven methods of investment, across various sectors, which can provide a framework to support inland fisheries and other freshwater resource use.

Drivers and Synergies: Identify synergies between the services that can be made to increase societal gain while maintaining ecological integrity and allowing for the protection of aquatic biodiversity and fisheries production.

Policy and Governance: Develop methods to assure that governance decisions take into account the contribution inland fisheries make to food security, human well-being, and ecosystem productivity.

Each session will also include the Future of Inland Fisheries as part of its discussions in order to inform long-term strategic plan development for sustainable inland fisheries and affiliated communities at the local, regional, and global levels.

Support Opportunities

Please see our Support Opportunities page for information about how to contribute financially to this important event.


Please see our Exhibit Displays page for more information about exhibiting at the conference.

Brochure and Flyer

Two-page Inland Fisheries Conference flyer v4 (PDF, 433 kb)

Twelve-page color Inland Fisheries Conference brochure (low-resolution PDF, 1.8 MB)