Humans have exploited the natural resources of coastal and marine systems for thousands of years. In the last several hundred years, the cumulative effect became quite apparent, and in recent decades, with the onset of huge vessels, powerful engines, and remarkably exact positioning gear, quite alarming. Exploited stocks include both top-level predators, such as sharks, tuna, and groupers, and important species of prey, including snapper, shrimp, and menhaden, with often unexpected and unpredictable consequences on ecological community dynamics. The decline of fished stocks is exacerbated by loss of critical nursery, spawning, and feeding habitat due to pollution and coastal development. Given this complex set of interactions, the fisheries research conducted at Florida State University focuses on the linkages between organisms and their habitat, on the population ecology of exploited species, including sharks, reef fishes, and a suite of other species, and on the trophic linkages existing among them in marine and coastal ecosystems. The research focuses on issues of importance to the state and the nation and is intended to ensure that ecologically relevant information is incorporated into management and conservation and is reflected in governmental policy.