Movement of fishes in the aquatic realm is fundamental to their ecology and survival. Movement can be driven by a variety of biological, physiological and environmental factors occurring across all spatial and temporal scales. The intrinsic capacity of movement to impact fish individually (
e.g., foraging) with potential knock‐on effects throughout the ecosystem ( e.g., food web dynamics) has garnered considerable interest in the field of movement ecology. The advancement of technology in recent decades, in combination with ever‐growing threats to freshwater and marine systems, has further spurred empirical research and theoretical considerations. Given the rapid expansion within the field of movement ecology and its significant role in informing management and conservation efforts, a contemporary and multidisciplinary review about the various components influencing movement is outstanding. Using an established conceptual framework for movement ecology as a guide ( i.e., Nathan et al., 2008: 19052), we synthesized the environmental and individual factors that affect the movement of fishes. Specifically, internal ( e.g., energy acquisition, endocrinology, and homeostasis) and external (biotic and abiotic) environmental elements are discussed, as well as the different processes that influence individual‐level (or population) decisions, such as navigation cues, motion capacity, propagation characteristics and group behaviours. In addition to environmental drivers and individual movement factors, we also explored how associated strategies help survival by optimizing physiological and other biological states. Next, we identified how movement ecology is increasingly being incorporated into management and conservation by highlighting the inherent benefits that spatio‐temporal fish behaviour imbues into policy, regulatory, and remediation planning. Finally, we considered the future of movement ecology by evaluating ongoing technological innovations and both the challenges and opportunities that these advancements create for scientists and managers. As aquatic ecosystems continue to face alarming climate (and other human‐driven) issues that impact animal movements, the comprehensive and multidisciplinary assessment of movement ecology will be instrumental in developing plans to guide research and promote sustainability measures for aquatic resources.