Global fisheries; Panarchy; Adaptive cycle; Adaptive management; Fisheries collapse
Problems of overfishing and other stresses to fish populations have continued to grow in scale, from smaller to more global pressures. These pressures are found in changes in the water column, such as through warming, as well as pollution and fishing effort and practices. Single stock collapses have been common, and pressures are building across marine regions. This paper questions whether or not it makes sense from a policy perspective to think of fisheries as a hierarchical global integrated adaptive system, or panarchy. From a policy perspective rules and institutional procedure, actors, and ecosystem dynamics all provide a foundation for many fishery stresses, and casting policy at the wrong scale can provide problems of institutional fitness, as well as set fishing and fishery based social–economic systems up for unexpected crisis. If it makes sense to think of global fisheries as a panarchy, it is plausible that fisheries can collapse at this scale, and policy makers around the world should use measures to build resilience at this level, primarily through reducing slow persistent disturbances while preparing for surprises. This review concludes that certainly fisheries can be viewed at the global scale and a planetary mindset should be included in international fishery policy making that should assert the value of an interconnected ocean and planet beyond simple fish commodities.