The Fish, the People, the Tradeoffs: Social-Ecological Coupling in the Wetfish Fishery of Monterey Bay, California


Monterey Bay is home to a thriving marine ecosystem and vibrant communities, but also one of the most infamous fishery crashes in U.S. history. Chronicled by many, the anchovy/sardine fishery of the Bay came to a crashing halt due to what we now know was a combination of overharvesting pressure and climatic forcing. This case study focuses on today’s wetfish fishery in Monterey Bay, and the complex social-ecological linkages comprising the fishery system. Students will use qualitative and quantitative data to analyze the issue, look carefully at stakeholder viewpoints, and examine S-E linkages in the fishery system. The study consists of a background module and five learning modules.  We suggest that the background and modules 1 and 5 are necessary to achieve the SES learning goals.  Modules 2 - 4 are optional modules that will enhance case study learning objectives.   

Stacy Aguilera