The term “fishery” can refer to the people, equipment, species, and/or regions involved in fishing. Fisheries in the U.S. are regulated by the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the process is complex and intensely political. Conservation and long-term planning have almost always taken a back seat to short-term profit, putting economic interests ahead of the health of natural resources. Regulations are inconsistent, and while bureaucrats pay close attention to state, federal and boundaries, the fish ignore them. Sometimes fishing boats do too.
For millennia, humans took all they needed from the ocean, believing it was inexhaustible, its system too vast to be disrupted by human activity.