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1865
1865

Massachusetts was the first state to establish fishery commissions in 1865.

1870
1870

Fisheries science and the American Fisheries Society had their beginnings in northeastern North America in 1870, when a group of lay professionals from the U.S. and Canada, interested in fish culture and aquatic resources, convened to form the American Fish Culturists Association (later to become the American Fisheries Society).

1870

The first American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting was held at the Fulton Fish Market in New York City on December 20, 1870.

1870

AFS was originally named the American Fish Culturalists’ Association when it was formed in 1870.

1870

Society activities in 1870 included discussion of the problems with migration barriers in rivers from the building of dams

1871
1871

The U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries was authorized by Congress in 1871 after urging from AFS and others. The first director was AFS member Spencer Baird.

1871

AFS members urged the United States Congress to increase the appropriations for the establishment of at least two fish hatcheries in 1871.

1872
1872

The first volume of Transactions was published in 1872.

1878
1878

The Society changed its name to the American Fish Cultural Association in 1878.

1882
1882

In 1882, honorary American Fishery Society members included Thomas H. Huxley of England and His Royal Highness Frederick William, the Crown Prince of Prussia and Germany.

1882

Launched in 1882, the U.S. Fish Commission’s Albatross was the first ship designed expressly for fisheries and oceanography research and was capable of long cruises.

1885
1885

In 1885, the Society’s name was changed a final time to the American Fisheries Society.

1898
1898

In 1898 U.S. Congress passed its first salmon protection law in order to protect the fish from commercial obstruction of Alaska’s Karluk River.

1913
1913

In 1913 AFS members agreed that more formal training in fisheries was needed and recognized that programs within existing colleges and universities were not sufficiently comprehensive.

1920
1920

The American Fisheries Society was an active and effective professional and conservation organization by 1920.

1927
1927

Emmeline Moore was the first woman to lead AFS after being elected president of the Society in 1927.

1938
1938

AFS’s first North American Fish Policy was adopted in June 1938, which defined and intellectual and institutional framework for the value of fish and fisheries.

1939
1939

Specially designed railroad cars were used to transport fish eggs and fry across the continent in stocking programs conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries.

1948
1948

The Western Division of the American Fisheries Society was the first division established in 1948.

1948

A convention in 1948 formed the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF) to govern fishing in international waters of the North Atlantic. The treaty was ratified in 1950 to study fisheries in two million square miles of ocean outside the territorial waters of nations rimming the northwest Atlantic.