Not Fish, Not Meat: Some Guidance on How to Study Fisheries from an Interdisciplinary Perspective
Robert Arlinghaus, Len M. Hunt, John R. Post, and Micheal S. Allen
Fisheries can best be viewed and understood from a systems perspective, which is defined as a web of interrelated and interacting ecological, biophysical, social, economic, and cultural components. Unfortunately, reductionist approaches focused on single-species fisheries biology as a discipline have long dominated fisheries science. Consequently, many well-intended fisheries-management actions have failed to meet their objectives, either because of unexpected human responses or because of complex ecological dynamics. To address the resulting implementation uncertainty, scholars have increasingly asked for research programs that study the implications of management actions throughout the whole coupled social-ecological system. To achieve this aim, interdisciplinary science and the integration of disparate knowledge sources is needed, something that few graduate programs in fisheries specifically focus on.