Our History

The FSBI was formed as a professional society in 1967 and has become internationally renowned for its scientific activity in fish biology and fisheries science.

Our beginnings

In the mid-1960s, several annual conferences on fish ecology were initiated in Liverpool by Jack W Jones, a member of the Department of Zoology at the University of Liverpool. During the third of these so-called Coarse Fish Conferences, in March 1967, informal discussion took place about the formation of a British society for fisheries biology. Participants in the discussion included Jack Jones, David Le Cren, a biologist at the Windermere Freshwater Biology Laboratory, Peter Tombleson, an angling journalist and administrator, Lionel Mawdesley-Thomas, a fish pathologist at the Huntingdon Research Centre, and Alwyne Wheeler, a taxonomist at the Natural History Museum, London. The discussions led to an inaugural meeting of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles on 21 October 1967 at the meeting rooms of the Zoological Society, London. Jack W Jones became the first President of the Society. These five people were responsible for founding the new Society and for guiding it through its early years.

James Chubb, also from the Department of Zoology, University of Liverpool, was appointed as the first editor of the Journal of Fish Biology.

Become a member

Join the FSBI today to get access to the Journal of Fish Biology, grant opportunities and reduced fees for our annual symposium.

Annual Conference

In 1992, at the quarter centenary conference in Liverpool the Jack Jones lecture was inaugurated in his memory as founding President. At the Annual International Symposium, held each July, one invited speaker is selected to give the Jack Jones Lecture. The first Jack Jones lecture was given in Liverpool by Geoff Parker from Jones' former department. Subsequent speakers have included Larry Dill, Richard Haedrich, Ed Houde, Daniel Pauly and Kurt Fausch.


In 1995, the Society decided to award a medal each year to an individual who had contributed significantly to fisheries biology. The first medal was awarded to Ray Beverton, who sadly died a few months later. In his honour, the medal was named the Beverton Medal. In 1999, the Society began awarding a second medal each year, known as the FSBI medal, to an early-career scientist who has made a significant contribution to fish biology or fisheries science. The first FSBI medal was awarded to Neil Metcalfe. The Le Cren medal, named after David Le Cren, one of the founder members of the Society, was inaugurated in 2010. This medal is awarded to one or more individuals who have made a lifelong contribution to all aspects of the study of fish biology and/or fisheries science, with a focus on conservation, training or public understanding of the discipline. The first Le Cren medal was awarded to Bob Wootton

International Links

The FSBI is a founder member of the World Council of Fisheries Societies, which co-ordinates activity of national and international fisheries societies and organises the World Fisheries Congress every four years. In 2012, the FSBI led the organisation of the 6th World Fisheries Congress in Edinburgh, which was opened by HRH Prince Charles.

The FSBI has close working relationships with a number of other similalrly focused organisations, including the American Fisheries Society, the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science and the China Society of Fisheries, as well as close ties to the Canada Conference for Fisheries Research and the Australian Society for Fish Biology. The Societies maintain close links and the respective Presidents regularly attend and contribute to each other's annual conferences, exchanging information and furthering international interactions.

Office Holders of the Society


Jack W. Jones 1967-1978
David Le Cren 1978-1983
Ray J.H. Beverton 1983-1988
Colin E. Purdom 1988-1992
David Le Cren 1992
John H.S. Blaxter 1992-1997
Paul J.B. Hart 1997-2002
Inigo Everson 2002-2005
John E. Thorpe 2005-2007
Felicity A. Huntingford 2007-2011
Ian Winfield 2011-2015
Iain Barber 2015-2019

Vice President

Peter H. Tombleson 1967-1978
Colin E. Purdom 1978-1988
John E. Thorpe 1988-1992
Felicity A. Huntingford 1992-1997
Inigo Everson 1997-2002
Nick V.C. Polunin 2002-2005
Gary R. Carvalho 2005-2006
Felicity A. Huntingford 2006-2007
Michel Kaiser 2007-2011
Iain Barber 2011-2015
Gary R Carvalho 2015-2019


Lionel Mawdesley-Thomas 1967-1971
Donald W. Jolly 1971-1975
Clive R. Kennedy 1975-1977
David J. Solomon 1977-1983
Andy W.H. Turnpenny 1983-1988
John R.C. Springate 1988-1990
Sandy P. Scott 1990-1993
Inigo Everson 1993-1997
Robin N. Gibson 1997-2005
Brian Eddy 2005-2013
John Pinnegar 2013-2017
Ian Winfield 2017-2021


Alwyne C. Wheeler 1967-1970
Timothy B. Bagenal 1970-1986
Ron Williams 1986-1988
Paul J.B. Hart 1988-1997
Ian Winfield 1997-2005
Gordon H. Copp 2005-2013
Robert Britton 2013-2021