Conclusions: Reframing the possibilities for natural and social science dialogue on the economic history of natural resources

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Ecology and Society has few historical essays in its issues, which is a very important lacuna because historical depth is an invaluable aid to understanding problems in the present day, what went wrong, and thus what may be the way to move on productively. Moreover, Ecology and Society papers that do deal with historical matters are focused mostly on conservation issues or those of First Nations. There is, however, another global phenomenon that needs to be covered in historical socialecological thinking, and that is the problems faced over the long term by local fisheries around the world. Such local, often but not always small-scale, fisheries have been the mainstay of rural coastal populations globally for countless generations. Many local fish stocks are increasingly threatened by overfishing, stock collapses, and the migration of people and of fish as the planet warms. In the past, local coastal communities traditionally showed the flexibility needed to survive, partly through occupational pluralism and partly through the development and use of traditional ecological knowledge. Although a great deal is known about the traditional 19th- and 20th-century economic history of some local fisheries, not enough is known about how this crucial occupational sector has responded to the increasing social-ecological pressures that have resulted from the operations, post 1950, of deep-sea locationally footloose industrial fleets. Keywords: fisheries, social-ecological systems.

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Ecology and Society

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Journal Article

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