University Of Tasmania

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Opportunities to improve ecosystem-based fisheries management by recognizing and overcoming path dependency and cognitive bias

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:43 authored by Elizabeth FultonElizabeth Fulton
The rate of change in marine ecosystems and the speed with which pressure on those systems is escalating are much faster than rates of institutional change or management responses. The continued promulgation of a century‐old management approach (i.e., single species maximum sustainable yield), despite decades of scientific warnings regarding its flaws, highlights how fisheries management and science can be constrained by path dependency and psychological traps. Major disruptions to the functioning of fisheries created by climate and SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) present an opportunity to take a step back and introduce alternative approaches more appropriate to the extant conditions in the majority of global fisheries. This reset point, in combination with a proliferation of cheaper technological options, provides the opportunity for fisheries in emerging economies to reach a sustainable position without retracing the steps, or holding to the assumptions behind the fisheries management approaches applied in regions such as Europe, North America or Australia.


Publication title

Fish and Fisheries








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified

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