, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 1362–1369 | Cite as

Reinterpreting the State of Fisheries and their Management

  • Ray HilbornEmail author


A series of recent high-profile papers in Science and Nature have led readers to believe that most fisheries worldwide are overexploited and that current fisheries management practices have universally failed. In reality, current fisheries management is working well to achieve the legislated objective of MSY in some countries but is failing in others. Here, I present three interpretations about the status of fisheries management that are widely accepted and for each consider an alternative interpretation of the data. I propose that, rather than abandoning current approaches to fisheries management, we should expand the use of the management tools used in fisheries that currently achieve biological and economic sustainability.


fisheries crisis management biological economic sustainability 



My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the University of Washington. I thank Steve Carpenter, Jim Kitchell and Marc Mangel for their encouragement in writing this paper, and several anonymous reviewers for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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