The world's marine and freshwater fisheries give strong evidence of extensive and continued overexploitation. That raises important questions about the role of fishing as a major ecological force that can substantially alter the demographic characteristics of targeted species and their role in a food web or ecosystem context. In an ecological sense, one can view fishery exploitation as a "press" experiment and the changes evoked by strong management actions as a "pulse" experiment. While the fishery catches may be monitored over time and offer the benefit of extensive, long-term data sets, the challenge is to find fishery-independent evidence of the suspected and larger-scale ecological effects. These workshops were organized by Jim Kitchell as part of his sabbatical appointment at NCEAS during the period of Jan.-June 1997. The following is a brief report on the first workshop held during 30 January-1 February 1997 at the NCEAS facilities in Santa Barbara. The general goal of this project is to: Evaluate the ecological effects of fishery exploitation on apex predators in marine systems and to deduce how those might be expressed in their food webs.