Multiple Paths to Hook Advocates on Fish and Aquatic Conservation: How and Where Should We Invest Resources? Part 1

Every conservation organization strives to best leverage limited resources for maximum gain. Fisheries management and aquatic conservation organizations are no different. This symposium will focus on this challenge from the perspective of better establishing, building, and sustaining relationships with new and already-established advocates for fish and their habitats, and is aimed at the fisheries conservation community and aspiring fisheries professionals. The goal of this symposium is to increase knowledge about how to remain relevant to multiple publics and a changing society through: effective and strategic communication; use of digital networks; deploying innovative technologies and conservation education techniques. Desired outcomes include: generating ideas to develop and refine existing and/or establish new conservation education tools; sharing techniques and strategies to build greater awareness of and support for fisheries conservation programs; promoting public attitudes and behaviors that benefit the fisheries and aquatic organisms and habitat; and drawing attention to case studies that can be used to guide and improve branding efforts. Information provided will facilitate others in creating new or refining existing communication strategies and conservation education toolkits, networking with and learn from active educators, communicators and researchers, and making progress toward the ultimate goal of growing a base of committed advocates for fish and their habitats. The symposium will discuss (1) Strategic communications and branding to grow organizational support and recognition and increase relevance to the public; (2) Social networks and social media: more effectively tapping into social networks and using digital tools to connect and communicate with the public about fish and their conservation; (3) Nature Tech: Creative ways to use hands-on technology in the field and the classroom to connect people with nature (e.g. radio telemetry/tracking, remote operated vehicles); and, (4) Evaluation: What tools and techniques (both hands- on/place -based and online/virtual) are working well and ways to adapt approaches.
Katrina Mueller and Sean Connolly
Sean Connolly and Katrina Mueller
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