Today’s Fisheries Challenges Require Creative, Interdisciplinary Problem Solving
Kyle S. Van Houtan and Eric C. Schwaab
Long-term solutions to today’s most pressing fisheries challenges require an increasing understanding of complex system interactions. Ecosystem-based management that links diverse data streams and disciplines has been a focus of fishery scientists for decades (Christensen et al. 1996), yet ecosystems are not the only systems important to fisheries management. For real and lasting solutions, social and economic systems deserve just as much attention and study as natural systems. Here, we share our personal experiences understanding complex problems in marine science and management. In doing so, we illustrate how stepping outside our respective disciplines and thinking about system dynamics at a range of scales in both science and management can shed light on, and offer new solutions to, challenges faced by natural resource practitioners.