The changing nature of marine fisheries requires management approaches that recognize and include ecosystem and environmental effects. Therefore, we review some examples of exploited fishery stocks in which environmental control is a major contributor to structuring the abundance and distribution of the stock. Four examples, ranging from Antarctic krill to oysters, are given that clearly illustrate environmental control on the fishery. From these examples, we argue that future management strategies for exploited fisheries must include effects of environmental variability. In particular, management strategies must be flexible enough to include delayed responses to environmental variations that result from the transfer of perturbations from larger to smaller scales and vice versa. This capability requires an understanding of where linkages between the physical environment and the species of interest occur. Development of this knowledge requires input from a variety of disciplines, coordinated research programs, and considerable cooperation at national and international levels.