The 7th International Billfish Symposium will be held at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego California on October 8th, 9th, and 10th. There will be a welcome event at the host hotel on October 7th, 2024 where attendees can register, pick up their programs, and enjoy a happy hour social to mingle with fellow symposium participants.

Hubbs – SeaWorld Research Institute
2595 Ingraham St
San Diego, CA 92109

History of the International Billfish Symposium

The International Billfish Symposium series began back in 1972 with the recognition that there was a need to establish a forum where topics related to billfish science, management and commercial and recreational fisheries could be discussed.  The inaugural conference, which was sponsored by the National Marine Fisheries Service, had over 60 scientists present from eight different countries presenting in four scientific sessions covering species identification, life history, distribution, and fisheries.

Since the inaugural symposium, five others have been held in three countries and it remains one of the only venues solely dedicated to billfish related issues. Previous meetings were held in the following locations:

  1. Kona, Hawaii USA - 1972
  2. Kona, Hawaii USA - 1988
  3. Cairns, Australia - 2001
  4. Catalina Island, California USA - 2005
  5. Taipei, Taiwan – 2013
  6. Dania Beach, Florida USA - 2016

The most recent meeting, the 6th International Billfish Symposium, was held in September 2016 at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) headquarters. In addition to providing a venue for presenting new research on istiophorid and xiphiid billfishes, the IBS’s objective was to highlight known uncertainties about the biology and fisheries of these species, particularly at the level of regional fisheries management organizations, such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The 6th International Billfish Symposium was attended by 60 participants from seven countries, contributing a total of 34 oral and five poster presentations. One of the other goals of the 2016 meeting was to collectively develop a plan for future IBS events leading IGFA to co-host the 7th International Billfish Symposium with Wild Oceans in a location accessible to international travelers as well as domestic.

Each symposium has been successful in building on the results presented and questions asked at previous ones. It has also served as an effective mechanism for publishing billfish research, as conference proceedings have been published either in the form of technical reports or in peer-reviewed journals. The International Billfish Symposium series is also somewhat unique in that recreational and commercial anglers are encouraged to not only attend, but also present at special sessions but also participate in panel discussions.

Since its inception in 1972, the International Billfish Symposium is the only conference series of its kind that focuses on issues related to billfish biology and management.  The 7th IBS theme is, “Advancing Science and Management of Billfish in a Changing Ecosystem.”

The conference will highlight advances across all aspects of billfish science and management while examining evolving climate related impacts.

Conference topics will include:

•  Assessment and Management
• Habitat Utilization, Movement, Behavior
• Basic Biology
• Human Dimensions

This conference is not just for scientists and managers but is also open to the public and we encourage all interested billfish anglers to attend! In addition to daily sessions there will be numerous socials for networking with old friends and meeting new ones.  Stay tuned for more information on registration, abstract submission, and the meeting agenda.