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Identifying Social Thresholds and Measuring Social Achievement in Social-Ecological Systems: A Cross-Regional Comparison of Fisheries in the United States

June 01, 2023

A study providing management information and insight into possibilities for preventing unfavorable shifts and to assess society’s ability to adapt to those shifts.

In marine social-ecological systems (SESs), environmental and human-induced stressors can push ecosystems from a high-functioning state into a new, often undesirable state (i.e., regime shift) with limited delivery of ecological goods and services (e.g., high to low fisheries production).

While ecological regime shifts are well studied, social regime shifts within SESs are underexplored. Socioeconomic indicators were used to identify thresholds and trends in fisheries and coastal employment for six marine SESs around the U.S. 

Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of the complementary threshold analysis and outcome ranking methods in identifying regimes and assessing performance.


Perng LY, Walden J, Leong KM, DePiper GS, Speir C, Blake S, Norman K, Kasperski S, Weijerman M, Oleson KLL. 2023. Identifying social thresholds and measuring social achievement in social-ecological systems: A cross-regional comparison of fisheries in the United States. Marine Policy,152:105595,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2023.105595. 

    Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 08/01/2023