Spatial-dynamic processes in renewable resource economics pose difficult conceptual, analytical, empirical, and institutional challenges that are distinct from either spatial or dynamic problems. We describe the challenges and conceptual approaches using both continuous and discrete depictions of space and summarize key findings. Using a metapopulation model of the fishery and simulated economic and ecological data, we show that it is possible in certain circumstances to recover both biological and economic parameters of a linked spatial-dynamic system from only economic data. We illustrate the application empirically with data from the Gulf of Mexico reef-fish fishery. We conclude with a discussion of key policy and institutional design involved in managing spatial-dynamic systems.