FishBase Consortium Annual Meeting goes virtual for 2020

With the ongoing situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided among members that the 21st FishBase Consortium Annual Meeting would be best conducted online for this year. The 5-day teleconference meeting among members and partners transpired last week, from 7 to11 September 2020, and was hosted by the Sea Around Us initiative of the University of British Columbia (Canada).

7 September (Mon): FBC Annual Meeting, Closed Session
Participated by some of the FBC members and partners

8 September (Tue): FBC Meeting of the Technical Committee
Participated by the FBC Technical Committee members and interested members

9 to 11 September (Wed-Fri): FBC Annual General Meeting
Participated by FBC members and partners (Cui Liang of the University of Qingdao, Fabrice Teletchea of the University of Lorraine, Tom Brey of AWI/HIFMB, Voula Karachle of Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Yvonne Sadovy and Cheuk Wing Li of SWIMS/UHK)

Since it was the first time that the annual event was held virtually, here are some of the feedback gathered on the methodology and conduct of the meetings:

“Holding a meeting with participants across such a wide range of time zones as a series of zoom conferences was a big challenge compared to the usual annual physical meeting. While we lost the opportunity of the celebratory symposium this year, the daily zoom conferences worked very well and enabled true exchange. Forcing everybody to do perhaps more preparations than normal ahead of schedule the meetings gained in focus on the forward looking conversations. The technical team around Deng, Valentina and Tobias ensured smooth sailing and the gentle encouragement and action oriented focus of Jessica and Deng were most helpful in steering the group towards actionable decisions in preparation for the forthcoming physical meeting in Paris. So, a big thanks to all, including those getting up very early or disconnecting very late, and thus all playing along effectively.” –Dr. Cornelia Nauen, President of Mundus Maris and Q-quatics Board Chair

“The online format worked surprisingly well. Major decision [made] is the postponement of the ‘30 years of FishBase’ and ’15 years of SeaLifeBase’ celebrations, to be held in first week of September 2021 in Paris.” –Dr. Rainer Froese, Senior Scientist at GEOMAR and co-creator of FishBase

“This year’s FBC annual meeting was unique in many sorts, pandemic travel ban forced us to hold this annual meeting via video-conferencing, taking into consideration many time zones. In spite of this, and because of the cooperation of the FBC members, the meeting went smoothly and many action points for this year’s work plan were agreed on. We look forward to a very productive 2020-2021, against all odds.” –Dr. Maria Lourdes ‘Deng’ Palomares, Project Manager of Sea Around Us, Science Director of Q-quatics

“FishBase has grown and matured, constantly adapting to a changing world, replenished with a new generation of recruits, while still cared by its parents, and will be long-lived as a Methuselah shark.” –Dr. Athanassios C. Tsikliras, Associate Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, FishBase Consortium member

Screenshot by Valentina Leotaud

Screenshot by Valentina Leotaud

About Joann Glorioso

Events Coordinator / Communications & Public Relations Officer

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