Abstract. Understanding and predicting the structure and dynamics of ecological systems is key to managing and sustaining human interactions with ecosystems. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying human interactions themselves need to be accurately represented to provide a comprehensive understanding of overall socio-ecological dynamics. Towards this end, this presentation will describe the development of a general consumer-resource approach to socio-ecological networks and a particular application to fishery ecosystems. This approach asserts interactions among non-human species are determined by biological mechanisms such as metabolism and feeding rates. Interactions directly involving humans are determined by market mechanisms such as economic profit and loss. The integration of these mechanisms helps inform socio-ecological sustainability. Well beyond this domain, this work shows how network theory can synthesize disparate research endeavors focused on complex systems and help solve critically important problems.