The Fish, the People, the Tradeoffs: Social-Ecological Coupling in the Wetfish Fishery of Monterey Bay, California (2015-2)

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Mar 03, 2016
Author: 
Stacy Aguilera and Rachel Zuercher

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.   

Estimated time frame: 
Multiple class periods
SES learning goals: 
  • Understand the structure and behavior of socio-environmental systems
  • Find, analyze, and synthesize existing data, concepts, or methods
Has this been tested in the class room: 
No
Does this case have an answer key: 
No
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