Special Feature: Sea Change in Fisheries Governance
Despite multiple injunctions against the use of panaceas, these simple “solutions” are frequently applied inappropriately to a wide array of complex problems. At best, panaceas produce a few negative side effects. At worst, panaceas destroy existing institutions and leave a system worse off than it was before. So how do panaceas proliferate and why do they persist long after their drawbacks have been documented? Here we look at a range of panaceas from the realm of fisheries, showing how complexity, cognition, and institutional incentives combine to make panaceas more appealing than comprehensive approaches to the governance of marine living resources.