Most fisheries management studies have concentrated on understanding resource dynamics and have paid less attention to understanding the dynamics of those who use the resources. This situation limits the knowledge about the fisheries system as a whole and specifically about the viability of management schemes. It is vital to understand how the actors within the fishing sector (fishing firm owners/managers, fishers, fisheries managers, and traders) may respond to changes in fishing resources trends, market dynamics, and fisheries policies before they are implemented. These issues are explored in this paper by applying a longitudinal analysis of the Yucatan Mexico's fishing industry. The analysis is presented within the framework of the theory of change and coping strategies. The study primarily involved interviews during 2008 with the main owners of companies in the fishing industry and with fisheries managers and other stakeholders. Time-series catch data on the main fishing resources are also reviewed to evaluate changes across three historical periods and describe how the actors have perceived and responded to those changes. Given conditions of uncertainty in resource availability, changes in market demand and changes in institutional arrangements, the viability of traditional business and resource management practices are discussed. The analysis presents different kind of triggers that have modified the conditions of the fishing sector and had had impacts on the socio-economic-ecological system in which fisheries are embedded. The need for adaptive strategies in the whole chain of the fisheries business and resource management is stressed, given the current changes and conditions of fisheries. The discussion states a series of actions that could improve the relationships between business practices and fisheries management.