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Introductory Fisheries Science for Stakeholders (IFISSH)

The Introductory Fisheries Science for Stakeholders (IFISSH) course is offered annually by Rutgers Cooperative Extension to educate stakeholders of New Jersey's marine fisheries on the science, management, and responsible stewardship of fishery resources so that they are better prepared to make progress on and get involved with issues impacting their industries. 


Picture of Dr. Doug Zemeckis teaching an IFISSH class

Most stakeholders have difficulty understanding the increasingly complex science and management processes associated with New Jersey’s commercial and recreational marine fisheries. This course educates stakeholders so that they can better understand these processes, including how to get involved with fishery management or cooperative research projects, as well as adopt improved fishing practices. Course participants commonly include recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, members of the general public, young professionals interested in fisheries science, and professionals in a related field who want to expand their knowledge on issues related to New Jersey’s marine fisheries. 


The IFISSH course covers topics related to fisheries biology, oceanography, surveys of marine fishery resources, collection of commercial and recreational fishery catch data, stock assessments, and fisheries management. The progression of topics helps students to understand the data that are key inputs into stock assessments, the basics of stock assessment models, and how results from stock assessments and other research are incorporated into fishery management. Experts in their respective fields are recruited to deliver guest lectures so that students have the opportunity to learn from and interact with the people who are directly involved with the science and management of New Jersey’s marine fisheries. Approximately twenty individuals representing universities, state or federal agencies, or non-profit organizations contribute to the course on an annual basis. 

The IFISSH course is offered annually during the months of January through April. Class sessions meet at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County (1623 Whitesville Road, Toms River, NJ 08755), but are offered in a HyFlex (i.e., hybrid and flexible) format to permit live participation in-class or remotely via webinar from anywhere in the world. 

Registration is now open for the 2020 IFISSH course. Please register by January 24. Click here for the course flyer.

If you would like to register for the IFISSH course, or be added to our email list to receive notices about future marine extension education programs, then please contact Kelly Jurgensen (Administrative Assistant, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County):, 732-349-1152.

If you have any questions about the IFISSH course or other marine extension programs, then please contact Dr. Douglas Zemeckis (County Agent III, Assistant Professor; Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean, Atlantic, and Monmouth Counties):, 732-349-1152. 

Picture of Dr. Douglas Zemeckis pulling a cage out of the water on a white boat
Picture of Barnegat Bay Lighthouse from the bow of a boat