The intent of ecosystem-based fisheries management is to move beyond managing each species separately, and to also consider interactions with other species and ecosystem functioning, as well as human benefits such as food, revenue and recreation. A new paper shows that, in practice, people have very different opinions about which management actions could be classed as ecosystem-based. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that any particular fishery would be able to meet all of the items on a checklist of possible ecosystem-based actions. Instead, managers should seek to incorporate components of ecosystem-based management that are relevant to the fishery at hand. The new paper was written by SAFS graduate students John Trochta, Maite Pons, Merrill Rudd, Melissa Krigbaum, SMEA graduate student Alexander Tanz, and SAFS professor Ray Hilborn, and appears in the journal PLoS One.