International Council
for Archaeozoology

Fish Remains Working Group

 The Fish Remains Working Group (FRWG) was created during an informal meeting held at the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen in 1980. Its members are an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers (archaeozoologists, archaeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, and fishery biologists) interested not only in the study of fish remains retrieved in archaeological sites from around the world, but also on any matter dealing with fishing, the fish trade, and fish consumption in prehistoric and historic times.

One of the main aims of FRWG is to provide data that can be of use in the future management of fishery resources. The FRWG carries out its mandate by sponsoring biannual international conferences and by maintaining a web site at .

22nd FRWG meeting:The 22nd ICAZ Fish Remains Working Group meeting, organized by zooarchaeologists associated with the Faunal Interest Group at University of Toronto and friends, will be held in Toronto, Canada, from 12 to 18 August 2024. For information regarding abstract submission and other relevant data, please see

There is a closed ICAZ FRWG group on Facebook, the purpose of which is to promote discussion, share articles and pictures regarding anything archaeologically fish based. If you should like to join the group, please search for "Fish Remains Working Group" and request to join the group.

Past FRWG Meetings:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark (organized by Knud Rosenlund, Inge Bodker-Enghoff, and Jane Richter), August 1980
  2. Sophia Antipolis, France (organized by Jean Desse and Natalie Desse-Berset), October 1983
  3. Groningen, The Netherlands (organized by Anneke Clason and Dick Brinkhuizen), August, 1985
  4. York, United Kingdom (organized by Andrew Jones), September 1987
  5. Stora-Korno, Sweden (organized by Leif Jonsson), September 1989
  6. Schleswig, Germany (organized by Dirk Heinrich), September 1991
  7. Leuven, Belgium (organized by Wim van Neer), September 1993
  8. 8. Madrid, Spain (organized by Eufrasia Rosello and Arturo Morales), October 1995
  9. Panama City, Panama (organized by Richard Cooke), April 1997
  10. New York city, USA (organized by Sophia Perdikaris), September 1999
  11. Paihia, New Zealand (organized by Foss Leach), October 2001
  12. Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, September 2003
  13. Augusta Raurica, Basel/Augst, Switzerland (organized by Heide Hüster Plogmann), October 2005
  14. Antibes, France (organized by Philippe Béarez, Sandrine Grouard and Benoît Clavel), October 2007
  15. Toruń, Poland (organized by Daniel Makowiecki), September 2009
  16. Haifa and Eilat, Israel (organized by Irit Zohar, Naama Goren-Inbar, Rivka Rabinovich, Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer, and Anna Belfer-Cohen), October 2011
  17. Tallin, Estonia (organized by Lembi Lougas), September 2013
  18. Lisbon, Portugal, September-October 2015
  19. Sardinia, Italy (organized by the Archaeozoological Laboratory of the Department of Nature and Environmental Science at the University of Sassari), October 2017
  20. Portland, Oregon, USA (organized by Virginia Butler), August 2019 (View the conference program)
  21. Vienna, Austria (organized by Alfred Galik, Astrid Pircher, Gertrud Haidvogl, Günther Karl Kunst, and Jürgen Kriwet), August 2022 Visit the 21st FRWG meeting website

FRWG Publications

It has been the policy of FRWG to make available the results of its meetings to the scientific community, although not necessarily as proceedings volumes. In spite of occasional difficulties, the recent trend has been encouraging. After the 2nd, 3rd, and 7th FRWG meetings the 13th and 14th have also produced proceedings, namely:

2nd Meeting: 2nd Fish Osteoarchaeology Meeting edited by N. Desse-Berset (1984). Editions du CNRS, Paris.

3rd Meeting: Fish and Archaeology edited by A. Clason and D. Brinkhuizen (1986). BAR International Series 294. Oxford.

7th Meeting: Fish Exploitation in the Past edited by W. Van Neer (1994). Annales Sciences Zoologiques 274. Musèe Royale de L'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren.

13th Meeting: The Role of Fish in Ancient Time, edited by Heidemarie Hüster Plogmann (2007). Verlag Marie Leidorf Gmbh, Rahden/Westf.

14th Meeting: Archéologie du Poisson. 30 ans d’archéo-ichtyologie au CNRS. Hommage aux travaux de Jean Desse et Nathalie Desse-Berset, edited by P. Béarez, S. Grouard and B. Clavel (2008). XXVIIIe rencontres internationales d’archéologie et d’histoire d’Antibes. Éditions APDCA, Antibes

In between, selected papers were sent for publication to refereed journals such as:

  • OFFA, whose 1994 issue (number 51) featured 26 papers from the Schleswig Meeting, and
  • ARCHAEOFAUNA, which featured papers from the Stora Korno Meeting in Volume 3 (1994), Volume 4 (1995), and Volume 5 (a monographic issue entitled, "Ichthyoarchaeology: Fish and the Archaeological Record" (1996).

The FRWG now intends to make available, both through its website and in paper version, a catalogue of the reference collections held by its various members and the research centers in which they work.

The FRWG has been particularly keen to foster collaboration among its members, resulting in a number of joint research projects and publications.

FRWG Newsletters:

Thanks to a scanning efffort by Ken Ritchie in 2018, the FRWG newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s are now available as PDFs:

This information has been contributed by László Bartosiewicz, FRWG Liaison to ICAZ, on October 31, 2018. PDFs of past newsletters were added on December 1, 2018.