Concerns about the human impact on the marine environment used to be focused on issues of pollution and degradation. However, in more recent times, fishery stocks around the world have declined and collapsed, and stocks of large predatory fishes are estimated to have reduced by more than 90% from their pre-exploited biomass. This highlights the negative impact of unsustainable fisheries on the marine and coastal environment and on long-term food security.
In the past, fishery managers have been largely responsible for managing the marine environment; biodiversity was often secondary to economic considerations. However, the alarming rate of global fish stocks decline shows that ecological integrity is vital for the productivity of fisheries. Sustainable marine and coastal management plays a crucial role both for biodiversity conservation and for long-term fishery-related food security.
Therefore, it is increasingly acknowledged that the role of marine and coastal managers in fishery management is equal to that played by more traditional fishery-related experts. Understanding fishery management techniques and their integration into conservation is critical for future marine and coastal managers, leaders, and decision-makers.