Lessons in Leadership: Integrating Courage, Vision, and Innovation for the Future of Sustainable Fisheries
Andrew K. Carlson, Abigail Bennett, William W. Taylor, and C. Paola Ferreri
Fisheries governance is scientifically complex, socially and politically challenging, and expensive. That more than one-third of assessed fish stocks around the world are overfished (a figure that has grown continually over the past five decades) is testament to the difficulty of sustainable governance (FAO 2020). But there are many examples of success, even following failure. The recent American Fisheries Society publication From Catastrophe to Recovery: Stories of Fishery Management Success is dedicated to showcasing examples of success from around the world (Krueger et al. 2019). For example, valuable species of grouper and shrimp recovered from decline in Turkey’s Mediterranean Sea after academics, nongovernmental organizations, and fishing cooperatives built trust and cooperation to implement no-take zones and enforce illegal fishing (Ünal and Kizilkaya 2019). Stakeholders spanning multiple jurisdictions coordinated management efforts to bring the migratory Striped Bass in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean back from collapse (Essig et al. 2019). Recovery of the South American Giant Arapaima, Walleye in Lake Erie and Minnesota’s Red Lakes, Lake Trout in Lake Superior, and salmon and Brown Trout in Sweden all seemed to have one thing in common. They depended upon various forms of cooperative and coordinated management, including stakeholders ranging from local fishers and landholders to multiple state, provincial, and tribal agencies (Barnard et al. 2019; Gurdak et al. 2019; Hansen and Bronte 2019; Vandergoot et al. 2019). The need to overcome the challenges of cooperative action in order to achieve successful fisheries governance surely has implications for what leadership means in the profession.