Many fisheries in North America are severely depleted and trending downwards. In an effort to find ways of reversing this disturbing situation, the American Fisheries Society and the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation invited leading experts in fisheries science and aquatic resource management to share their thoughts and insights in this book. These experts were asked to identify the factors that are currently impairing our ability to effectively manage fisheries resources and propose creative solutions for addressing the most challenging issues affecting fisheries sustainability. Based on the information that was provided by the experts (i.e., as presented in the earlier chapters of this book), it is apparent that a wide range of human activities are adversely affecting our shared fisheries resources and the aquatic habitats upon which they depend. The most challenging problems stem from causes that are largely beyond the scope of traditional fisheries management (e.g., human population growth, resource consumption patterns, global climate change, broad land-use patterns). It is also apparent that resolution of these challenges will require a new approach to fisheries management - one that effectively integrates economic, social, and environmental interests into a decision-making framework that supports fisheries sustainability. The key strategies for supporting such a transition toward a more holistic and comprehensive approach to managing the human activities that influence fisheries and aquatic resources are summarized in this chapter. ?? 2004 by the American Fisheries Society.
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Toward fisheries sustainability in North America: Issues, challenges, and strategies for action