Fig. 2. Fisheries governance system (modified from Sutinen and Soboil 2003:303).

The fisheries governance system typically consists of four interacting components: (1) Legislature, (2) Fisheries Agency, (3) Fisheries Management Authority, and (4) Stakeholders. A formal process is any governance mechanism that links these components in developing and implementing fisheries laws, policies, and management plans, including elections, regulations, advising, and participatory decision making. An informal process is any political interference, such as stakeholder lobbying, legal action, campaign contributions, publicity campaigns, and “ end runs” (see, for example, Sissenwine and Mace 2003), whereby dissatisfied stakeholders engage elected representatives to pressure the fisheries agency or management authority to change management or policy to outcomes favorable to their interests.