Fish at Night: an international symposium

MIAMI — April 21, 2017 — While the Bulletin of Marine Science has published more than 50 conference proceedings over our 65-year history, “Fish at Night: an international symposium” is the first that we have organized from conception to proceedings. Therefore, we were particularly excited that our call for abstracts resulted in 57 high-quality submissions from several countries around the world. Fish at Night convened 17–20 November, 2015, in Miami, Florida; and the symposium took place at night, which set the appropriate mood for the series of fascinating presentations. Approximately 100 individuals were in attendance, representing academia, government, and industry institutions from eight nations (Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, and the United States). Fish at Night attracted a wide variety of research topics, which were organized under the following themes: (1) nocturnal fish behavior and ecology; (2) night fishing, fisheries, and enforcement; (3) diel fish distribution and abundance comparisons; (4) methods for studying fish in darkness; (5) human threats to fish at night; (5) larval fish at night; and (6) deep and polar sea (“perpetual night”) fish and fisheries. We were very excited to have Michael Grace (Florida Institute of Technology) and Carl Meyer (The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology) provide attendees with compelling keynote presentations, which served to inspire and catalyze much discussion on fish at night throughout the symposium. Sincere thanks go to Euan Harvey (Curtin University) for accepting our invitation to deliver a keynote address, but unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances precluded his attendance. A call for manuscripts for these proceedings generated 31 manuscript submissions, of which 21 emerged from peer review that comprise this special issue. In addition, we include all contributed abstracts to capture this event’s full content.

The symposium and resulting publication were made possible by several key sponsors and a number of very talented individuals. First and foremost, we are grateful to the Dean of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), Roni Avissar, for support of the conference and for graciously hosting the Fish at Night welcome reception. Also from RSMAS, we would like to thank Diana Udel and Cara Mathison for their support. Sponsors included Wildlife Computers, Desert Star Systems, Lotek Wireless, Vemco, Forestry Suppliers, Southern Cross Astronomical Society, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and RSMAS. We are especially thankful to Lisa Sedelnik (Managing Director) and Lissette Mencia (Marketing Assistant) of Spark It! Communications, who flawlessly organized the logistics and operations of the symposium in Miami. We are very grateful to have had Steven Cooke (Carleton University) and Neil Hammerschlag (RSMAS) of the science advisory committee, who worked tirelessly as guest editors to oversee peer review of this special issue. We thank those who contributed as session chairs during the symposium: Tracey Sutton (Nova Southeastern University), Christopher Koenig (Florida State University Coastal & Marine Lab.), David Kerstetter (Nova Southeastern University), Eric Orbesen (NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center), Paul Sikkel (Arkansas State University), Kevin Boswell (Florida International University), Donald Kobayashi (NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center), Andrew Kough (John G. Shedd Aquarium), Melissa Soldevilla (NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center), and Neil Hammerschlag (RSMAS). We are grateful to Evan D’Alessandro (RSMAS) for permitting us to use his captivating imagery in the conference program, to Enrique Ramirez (ERAD Advertising & Design) for designing beautiful posters to help advertise the symposium, and to Beneath the Waves for organizing and executing a special film festival showcasing films about nighttime ocean science. We thank Helena Bernardi (HBO Latin America), Lara Talamas (DLA, Inc.), and Felipe Tewes (HBO Latin America) for volunteering as film festival jury members.

We hope these proceedings will provide valuable information on the present state of research on fish at night, a topic that most certainly deserves continued attention moving forward. The presentations, discussions, and articles published herein that arose from Fish at Night will no doubt advance our understanding of the patterns and processes operating in fish ecology and fisheries during darkness.

The proceedings for the special issue can be found online HERE

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