Heuristic model of a social-ecological trap in coral reef fisheries. Drivers into social-ecological traps include poverty and weak (or missing) institutions, which can drive overfishing, destructive gear use and ultimately push social-ecological systems beyond key thresholds. These can reinforce ecological feedbacks in ways that drive the system toward less desirable states. Alternatively, multi-species fisheries management, property rights, strong local institutions, and poverty reduction can help to change the directionality of these feedbacks, for example by creating incentives for reserved use of the commons. The positive and negative labels for the feedback loops are normative, relating to what is generally considered desirable.