Fisheries are complex human-in-nature systems. The conventional approach to fisheries systems has been to treat them as predictable and controllable. As complex systems they are neither of the two and have to be approached differently. Complex systems often exhibit the capacity to self-organize or adapt, even without outside influence. If this is true of fisheries, it should lead to a radically different approach to management of fisheries systems that places much emphasis on enabling self-organization, learning and adaptation. Conceptual and practical frameworks for enabling activities are needed.