Western Groundfish Conference Logo The Western Groundfish Conference has been held biannually at various locations along the west coast since 1981. The 10th Western Groundfish Conference was held at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, 1-5 February 1998. One hundred-fifty attendees represented state and federal fishery agencies, regional fishery management councils, universities, conservation groups, and the fishing industry. Because this meeting was kept less formal than other conferences of its type, we successfully fostered communication between the different stakeholders of our fisheries.

The meeting included 49 oral presentations grouped by session themes, including studies on life history, stock assessment, management, marine habitats, survey techniques, fishery oceanography and ecology of walleye pollock, arrowtooth flounder, rock sole, grenadier, sablefish, Atka mackerel, hake, lingcod, king crab, several species of rockfishes, among other groundfish species. A special session on the recent advances made in the field of systematics and genetics of rockfishes included eight presentations and an integrated discussion.

A Science & Industry Panel Discussion was convened on "Co-management of groundfish resources: engaging industry in data collection," with participation from state and federal management agencies, the fishing industry, and conservation community. An evening session of 28 poster presentations included video footage of fish surveys around oil platforms, fish behavior in trawls, and fish habitats in the Bering Sea. A book of the program, abstracts and a list of participants' names and addresses was distributed at the conference and a limited number is available through Mary Yoklavich (NOAA-NMFS-Pacific Fisheries Environmental Lab).

Members of the organizing committee extend their gratitude for the generous support provided by the following agencies, institutes and businesses:
*Aliotti Wholesale Fish Co.
*At-Sea Processors Association
*California Department of Fish and Game
*Fishermen's Marketing Association
*Monterey Bay Aquarium
*Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
*Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
*Monterey Fish Company, Inc.
*Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
*National Marine Fisheries Service,Southwest Fisheries Science Center
*Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
*Phil's Fish Market and Restaurant
*University of California Sea Grant Extension Program
*U.S. Freezer Company
*West Coast & Polar Regions Undersea Research Center

Their contributions have helped make the 1998 Western Groundfish Conference a successful event and have assisted in increasing the knowledge needed by all of us to wisely manage and use our groundfish resources. It is gratifying to know that many organizations, both public and private, are so willing to pool their own funds in achieving these goals. In addition, our thanks go to all those who donated items for our raffle; these proceeds will help defray costs of the 11th Western Groundfish Conference.

The Western Groundfish Conference has always been a unique forum for discussing current research results and management alternatives for some of the west coast's most valuable marine resources. Researchers brought topical results from their desktops rather than present only completed published work. It is hoped that Western Groundfish Conference will continue to play a leading role in the dissemination of current research results. The 11th Western Groundfish Conference will be held in the year 2000 in Sitka, AK. Contact Tory O'Connell, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 304 Lake Street, Room 103, Sitka, AK 99835 (907) 747-6688 for further details.