I have just returned from the IIFET conference 2016 in Aberdeen. Interestingly, although much of my work has involved the marine realm, at least during my PhD, I’d never been to this conference. In part this is probably due to the fact that IIFET is mainly a fisheries economics conference, and fisheries was usually only one of the considerations, as you’ll see if you read through the abstract. Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to join the latter half of the conference, so it’s hard to get a complete picture. In this post I offer you my peer review of this conference. But before we start, my philosopher friend has recently wrote a post on peer reviewers and the algorithm they use (see picture below). I have a slightly more positive view of the process, but still. Perhaps you want to keep that in mind before you read on.

[Peer review algorithm by S. Gerogiorgakis]
So, what did I think of this conference? Well, that is best described by a fishing analogy: if you throw out your nets in unknown waters there’s a good chance that you’ll have a mixed catch.

Some of the work presented was a bit too fishy to my taste, either in terms of subject or in terms of the consistency or robustness of the methodology used, but I’ve seen quite a number of very good and interesting papers, too. The special session on game theory and fisheries, that I presented in was well attended, but the fact that Gordon Munro and Rögnvaldur Hannesson presented in that session might have had something to do with that. In any case, I did get a number of useful comments on the paper, which is not something that one can take for granted in conferences.

Finally, I was struck by the overall mildness and friendly and open atmosphere of the conference. I have seen that at other conferences as well, especially at smaller ones, such as Bioecon, but that, too, is not something we should take for granted.

All in all I would say this conference may need a revision here and there, but should be accepted afterwards….