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Beth Polidoro - MSC Research Director

Beth Polidoro

MSC Research Director

New models for calculating fish populations, eDNA, traceability and other topics up for discussion at this year’s World Fisheries Congress.


1. What is the World Fisheries Congress?

Every four years the World Council of Fisheries Societies brings together more than 1000 delegates, representing academia, government, non-profits, and the business sector. This year, the 9th World Fishery Congress is being held in Seattle, USA from 3-7 March 2024.

2. It’s the largest gathering of its kind  

This Congress is the largest gathering of its kind, with dozens of workshops, plenary sessions, and hundreds of presentations organised by theme throughout the week. This year, more than 1200 oral and poster presentations were submitted by delegates representing more than 70 countries.

3. New models for measuring fish populations

Many of the hot topics this year include new innovations for estimating the population size of commercial and recreational fishery species. New statistical models and field methods aim to better understand the life histories of fishery species, including recruitment, which is critically important for predicting the impacts of fishing on population turnover. 

4. The MSC at the WFC

The MSC is involved several activities at the Congress, including leading two workshop-based, CPD accredited courses for conformity assessor fundamentals.

We’re also leading a 2-day session on climate change. This will involve more than 40 speakers sharing their knowledge and analyses of fish species changing distribution and how this is affecting marine ecosystems and challenging fishery managers. These challenges are requiring fishery managers to rethink quota allocations, transboundary sharing agreements and how to best use available infrastructures for landings, processing, and transport.

If you’re attending the congress but miss these, please find MSC outreach staff at our booth.

5. eDNA and traceability

We’re also interested in attending the congress’s sessions on the use of eDNA techniques to improve seafood traceability and sustainable fishery management. 

eDNA is a fascinating new method to detect species presence in the environment, without needing to observe or catch them. Although there are still limitations, the technique can be used to help confirm if labelled seafood products are the species they claim to be and also help validate where they were caught. Along with other genetic testing innovations this method could help crack down on illegal catches and mislabelling. 

Science and research at the MSC

Our science and research team ensures the development of our Standards reflects best practice and the latest scientific understanding.

Science and research at the MSC