In 1977, Roland Billard and his colleagues at INRA initiated the series of Symposia for Reproductive Physiology of Fish (ISRPF, Paimpont, France, 1977) and in 1988, Dick Peter and Peter Pang started the International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology (ISFE, Edmonton, Canada, 1988).
Since these early steps that strongly contributed to the structuration of those communities, the field of Fish Endocrinology has been constantly growing. It probably represents the second largest community of endocrinologists and we may expect this trend to continue for several reasons, in particular due to:
- the importance of fish in terms of biodiversity
- the problems related to endocrine disruption
- the need to offer more fish resources for human consumption
- the increasing recognition of small fish (medaka, zebrafish) as valid models
- the rapid emergence of new groups and new model species
Until today, there is no organized Society for Fish Endocrinology. There is an international committee that co-opts members and gets active every 4 years to help local organizers to set up the program of the ISFE. We can do more than that.
1- A society would permit to raise some funds to help the organizers of fish endocrinology meeting and to support training activities and travel grants for young investigators to participate in the ISFE Conference, regional meetings, technical workshops or courses.
2- Fish Endocrinology needs to increase its visibility. A strong ISFE would represent a force and a mandatory interlocutor for discussions with other existing societies and funding agencies. The more we are, the stronger we are.
3- The ISFE could lobby through national and international granting agencies and we can even dream of being able to raise funds from charities, foundations or international organizations. It just depends on how much energy we put in it.
4- Forming a Society represents the best way to continue and amplify the work initiated by the pioneers who showed us the way to go.
Thus, support the ISFE.