December 2016 - January 2017 (10:3)

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Dear MEAM readers,

Alongside the recent presidential election in the US and the Brexit vote affecting the EU, there have been numerous other transitions of political power – peaceful and violent - worldwide this year. Each is a reminder that political time scales - and the changes in regulatory priorities that come with them - do not always match the time scales needed to conduct EBM effectively. A number of MEAM readers and other management and conservation practitioners shared their experiences and insights on how these transitions have affected and will affect their work to address long-term ocean problems. We welcome you to share your own experiences, insights, and concerns in our Comments sections as well.

Best wishes for your work,
Sarah Carr
MEAM Editor

By Sarah Carr and Robert Olson

[Editor’s note: Sarah Carr is editor of MEAM. She can be reached at meam [at] openchannels.org. Robert Olson is a senior fellow at the Institute for Alternative Futures. He can be reached at bobolson2020 [at] gmail.com.]

Coastal and ocean ecosystems and communities are currently confronted with numerous devastating problems – sea level rise, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, loss of top predators, dead zones, garbage, chemical pollution, habitat loss, and more – that do not have short-term solutions. If human societies are willing and able to address these issues, namely by reducing root causes and/or mitigating or repairing harmful effects, that work may require decades to show signs of success. However, these relatively long time scales are paired with much shorter political, management, and funding cycles – often on the order of years – as well as relatively short attention spans of the public for these issues.

Two particularly striking examples of political changes that could have dramatic effects on the marine environment include the recent UK “Brexit” vote to withdraw from the EU and the recent presidential election in the US. The Brexit withdrawal could lead to the UK weakening marine management efforts to achieve good environmental status of marine waters (as specified in EU Directives) in response to political and economic pressures. Similarly, the US election puts that country’s greenhouse gas reductions and other environmental protection measures in jeopardy. The new president-elect of the US, Donald Trump, has vowed to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action,” issued by the current US President Barack Obama which could be construed to include the US National Ocean Policy, expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, and numerous climate change and sustainability initiatives.

If the problems are devastating, why is it so hard to sustain initiatives to fix them?

Problems affecting ocean ecosystems have always been difficult to address. They can be hard to see (e.g., ocean acidification, chemical pollution) even for ocean users. Manifestations of ocean problems can be highly episodic (e.g., more frequent and serious flooding events due to background sea level rise). The consequences of ocean problems can be difficult to connect to their root causes (e.g., shellfish corrosion due to acidifying waters). And, possibly most importantly, the regions and populations contributing to problems are often diffuse and different from those that bear the burden of the problems. For example, one of the world’s largest “dead zone”, in the Baltic Sea, is a result of runoff from numerous surrounding countries. And the harmful effects of global climate change will disproportionately affect poor countries despite the fact that the majority of emissions come from a small number of highly developed and/or highly populous countries.

In addition, sustaining public attention to long-term problems, not just ocean ones, is problematic in general. A fascinating report “Missing the Slow Train: How Gradual Change Undermines Public Policy & Collective Action” published by the Wilson Center earlier this year describes some of the psychological and behavioral roots of this phenomenon. For starters, humans have evolved to respond to threats that involve intentional action to cause harm, immoral actions, imminent danger, instantaneous change, a high degree of certainty, and simple causes – many of which do not apply to the greatest threats to the ocean.

Furthermore, even when people do notice a threat, cognitive biases - such as undervaluing future risks, weighting current loss more than future gain, and believing one is at less risk than others from threats – prevent people from appropriately assessing the risk from a problem. And even when risks are understood, a number of social and psychological dynamics – including a desire to avoid disturbing thoughts and emotions and a tendency to base one’s actions on the actions of others – can prevent societies for agreeing on policy actions to deal with problems. [Editor’s note: For more detail on these issues, we highly recommend reading Wilson Center’s full report.]

Despite these difficulties, tenacious ocean health advocates and foresighted leaders have had some success in drawing attention to ocean problems and initiating programs and activities to address them. (A new standard that allows wetland restoration projects to receive credits in carbon markets and paves the way for increased funding of wetland restoration and conservation and the Marine Stewardship Council’s fisheries certification and seafood labeling program to promote sustainable fisheries are just two examples.) But maintaining and scaling up initiatives to address long-term problems is a perpetual battle due to changing government and funder priorities and mandates.

Finally, the persistent media bias towards novel and sensational news means that these problems often only receive attention immediately after a disaster or controversial report. This lack of continuity makes it difficult to keep public pressure on policymakers to sustain initiatives to address long-term problems.

Is there anything on-the-ground practitioners can do to ensure their work is sustained?

So what can coastal and marine conservation and management practitioners do to carry on work on problems and solutions with long time scales in the face of short-term budgets and management mandates? Most certainly there are no magic bullets. But here are some strategies and best practices that can be employed:

  1. Be willing to reframe the problem to connect with peoples’ daily lives and personal concerns.

    Address peoples’ concern for the well-being of their children and grandchildren. Talk about local issues. Use different frameworks for different groups. For example, the US is unusual in that a large number of citizens do not accept that climate change and its attendant consequences are occurring or are a result of human activity. Coastal and ocean adaptation planners can sometimes move past the controversy, however, by focusing on problems that people do see as a problem, such as increased flooding from more frequent storm surge events. MEAM recently interviewed three conservation marketing experts who provided great tips for how to successfully influence people to support environmental initiatives.

  2. Be prepared to take advantage of teachable moments or other unplanned opportunities.

    Unfortunate or tragic as they are, disasters such as oil spills and storm events can provide opportunities to connect with people, including policymakers, about what can be done to prevent future catastrophes.

  3. Connect with relevant businesses when possible.

    Many businesses plan long-term and want stability for the environments and natural resources their operations depend on. For instance, the aquaculture industry is deeply concerned about ocean acidification, and marine pollution may be a critical issue for coastal and marine tourism and recreation businesses. Alliance with businesses that are critical employers in a community may motivate politicians in ways that environmental advocates cannot. In addition, public-private partnerships can provide a (relatively) steady source of income through changing public and philanthropic funding cycles. The Blue finance project is currently working on long-term and sustainable non-public financing for marine conservation in the Eastern Caribbean.

  4. Engage high-profile champions to help deliver your message.

    They can bring visibility to long-term problems with their celebrity and can provide continuity through political changes.

  5. Provide consistent, long-term feedback on the severity of the problem and success of management efforts at addressing it

    Report cards or environmental indices that are updated regularly, such as the Chesapeake Bay Report Card and Ocean Health Index, can provide consistent and long-term feedback on (and public attention to) the severity of ocean problems and how well they are being addressed by management measures.

  6. Focus on what can be done and show that progress is possible.

    Despair does not often motivate people to act. A great example of a project working to show people that positive change is possible is #OceanOptimism, which broadcasts marine conservation success stories to over 60 million Twitter users.

  7. Use visualizations of the problem whenever possible.

    As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Great data visualizations can help people understand the magnitude and trajectory of the problem and solutions, and imagery can elicit powerful and motivating emotional responses.

  8. Engage new advocates through serious games and citizen science initiatives.

    Serious games provide a way for people to test hypotheses and take on the psychological state of being responsible for addressing an issue. Citizen science initiatives not only help further scientific knowledge, but they can encourage people to take ownership of a problem.

  9. Be prepared to give good advice on the long-term consequences of not dealing with the problem.

    Policymakers will want to be able to weigh a wide variety of policy options, and scenario planning and solicitation of expert opinion provide means of exploring a wide range of potential future conditions.

*The authors would like to thank MEAM readers, EBM Tools Network members, subscribers to the Coral List discussion listserv, and participants in a forum held by the Wilson Center on the Slow Problems report for ideas for this article. And as readers will note, most of the strategies described in this article involve working towards the same goal – sustaining momentum towards long-term solutions through societal awareness and advocacy. Marinez Scherer, professor at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil) and EBM Tools Network member, summed this up beautifully when she wrote:

“To keep projects working towards long-term solutions, society must be aware and empowered. Governments change, but the local community does not. Society can pressure managers to stay on track if, and only if, people perceive projects and actions are important. Education, education, education - empower people.”

Read a variety of other insights from practitioners on this topic and add your own.

A number of MEAM readers, EBM Tools Network members, and other marine conservation and management practitioners provided additional perspectives on how recent events are influencing their work. They also described ways they thought practitioners could sustain progress towards long-term solutions to ocean problems despite the limitations of short-term government mandates and budgets.

Read:


Brexit vote has led to considerable uncertainty over the future of marine management and science in UK waters

“A great example of a political change which is impacting marine management is the recent UK Brexit vote to leave the EU. Over time the EU has developed numerous directives and policies which affect the marine environment. Examples include the Birds and Habitats Directive which led to designation of Special Areas of Conservation, the Water Framework Directive which has led to improvements and monitoring of coastal waters, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) which requires states to monitor and demonstrate their waters are in Good Environmental Status, and the recent Marine Spatial Planning Directive which is encouraging states to move ahead with marine planning. In terms of the marine environment, it has been argued that the EU has been a positive force overall, and indeed one can argue that many of the improvements we have seen would never have happened at national level without the high-level threat of EU Court actions against individual states for infringement. Of course the EU is no panacea for marine environmental problems, and fisheries management under the Common Fisheries Policy has arguably been a less successful policy. However, the EU has recognized this and is attempting to implement reforms in this difficult management area.

“The Brexit vote has led to considerable uncertainty over the future of marine management and science in UK waters. It has been stated that current EU legislation will be enshrined into UK law under the Great Repeal Act, and indeed the main directives mentioned above are already transposed through measures such as the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act. There is a definite feeling among my colleagues, however, that implementation is likely to be weakened post-Brexit. While there is no suggestion at present that parts of this marine legislation will be repealed, this will become an option once the supremacy of EU law and the EU court is removed for the UK. Furthermore, the UK government will no longer have the threat of infraction proceedings hanging over it and in economically challenging times is likely to be tempted to opt for minimal implementation. Indeed, we are already seeing this with regard to developing marine monitoring for the MSFD where financial constraints are tending to dominate the process.

“In terms of what we can do about it, it is very much at a wait and see stage - apart from lobbying against any dilution of environmental controls, there is not much more we can do until there is a more clarity around how post-Brexit legislation will develop. Conservation organizations such as the UK Marine Conservation Society are of course watching the situation closely and have expressed similar concerns via their newsletter.”

---- Clive Fox of Scotland. These views represent Mr. Fox’s personal views and do not necessarily represent those of his employer, the Scottish Association for Marine Science.


Without assurance of continuing budgetary support, processes founder

“Many MEAM readers have encountered the mismatch between political timescales and timespans needed for marine management and research and already know how dysfunctional and damaging it is to our efforts to improve ocean conditions and human well-being. Human lives aren’t the only ones in play either. Long-lived species such as some black corals (lifespans of > 4,200 years), gold coral (lifespans of ~ 2,700 years), ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) (lifespans of up to 507 years), Greenland sharks (lifespans of up to 400 years), bowhead whales (lifespans of up to 200 years), and Laysan albatross (lifespans of > 60 years) also have personal stakes in our ability for long-term management.

“Political disagreements or shifts are the most common changes that hamstring long-term investigations or management, with climate change science being the most visible example both internationally and in the US. Those factors are less frequent at the international level, where processes take more time. Programs such as those led by the UN have been more successful at setting and sticking with large, long-term goals, including monitoring fish catches (FAO), climate (UNFCCC), biodiversity (CBD), and comprehensive programs such as the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

“That said, funding is rarely adequate to the tasks, so problems often grow faster than efforts to fix them. Translating ideas to research, research to policy, and policy to management takes money. Without assurance of continuing budgetary support, processes founder. Where support is relatively insulated from politics, it can thrive, such as in NSF’s Long Term Ecological Research Program. In contrast, many laboratories and agencies operate with support from sources whose funding cycles extend year-to-year or for only a few years at most.

“Non-governmental support can fill some budget holes, but not reliably. For example, non-profit organizations are relatively constant in their geographic and issue-oriented engagements but depend heavily on corporate or private philanthropy, which often responds to new mandates, interests, or the desire to create short-term impact rather than continuing to fund an ongoing long-term project. Departure of key workers owing to concern about future funding can compromise the success of an ongoing project.

“The Ocean Health Index (OHI) was created as a long-term planetary-scale indicator of how sustainably people are maximizing the tangible and intangible benefits available from the ocean to support well-being. Continuing support is essential to reach that long-term, but funding, while generous, has been time limited. Initial feasibility testing and early approaches to development were supported by small grants from foundations and non-profit organizations that were primarily engaged by the project’s freshness and originality, but less interested in long-term funding. A founding three-year grant from Trustee Beau Wrigley to Conservation International underwrote further development, but ended in 2011. The Index’s structure and methodology were completed during a 1.5-year workshop on ‘Ocean Health in the Context of Ecosystem Based Management’ hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. Major support from the Pacific Life Foundation, the founding presenting sponsor of the Ocean Health Index, underwrote the project from 2012-2016, along with private grants to Conservation International and project-related grants to NCEAS. OHI will operate with such funding for coming years, but longer-term sources are needed to insulate this – and all such projects central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – from the types of challenges mentioned herein.

“In the meantime, recognizing that most actions capable of improving ocean health occur in jurisdictional areas, OHI focused on assisting nations to tailor the OHI framework for independent assessments of their own waters by substituting higher resolution regional data for global data when possible and by incorporating local values and contexts into the model. Approximately 25 nations have either completed or are in some stage of creating independent assessments, but because most nations do not have the tax-advantaged tradition of private philanthropy available in the US, they depend more on government support, and frequent changes in leadership make national and sub-national plans and budgets notoriously changeable. For example, changes of administration in Peru and Panama have delayed or derailed implementation of planned OHI projects. An ongoing OHI project in Ecuador is delayed by at least a year owing to changes in departmental organization; and funding for another in Korea was delayed by the presidential election.

“Politics and funding aren’t the only impediments to long-term management or research. We create some ourselves. For example, the rapid advance of science can itself work against long-term continuity, because new insights, research tools, and other emerging topics can be more attractive than continuing projects to those entering marine fields. Additionally, the human life cycle and career trajectory can undermine continuity, as individual researchers, politicians, managers, and others respond to changing demands of their own lives, families, and employers, as well as their personal desires for new experiences and advancement. Many will change fields, jobs, or projects even if adequate funding is available. Long-term projects need effective ways to survive those changes by capturing the knowledge, experience, and data gained by personnel who move on.

“The long-term initiatives needed to address large scale problems demand forthright acknowledgement of problems, constancy of effort to address them, willingness to use the best science and social science available, and flexibility to incorporate new knowledge through adaptive, dynamic management. Moreover, successive elected officials and managers – and society in general – must share those characteristics and recognize that maintaining ecological integrity is key to socio-economic sustainability. Rapid and dramatic political changes, such as the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU or the extraordinary results of the 2016 US presidential election create uncertainty at all levels of management and research, forming a challenging context for ongoing long-term initiatives.

“Earth and its people can only prosper if the ocean and its wild inhabitants also thrive. The marine science and management community do not alone have sufficient power to mitigate global driving forces or eliminate structural causes of the geographic and temporal mismatches that hamper progress. Anticipating them, forestalling them when possible, sheltering crucial projects from political divisiveness, building resilience into long-term initiatives at all levels, and developing more creative ways to work around obstacles is probably the best we can do. MEAM sounding the alarm on this urgent issue is an important step in the right direction, however.”

---- Steve Katona of Conservation International, Johanna Polsenberg of Conservation International, Ben Halpern of NCEAS, and Erich Pacheco of Conservation International


Public-private partnerships not subject to a grant’s expiry date or changes to government policies, personnel, or budgets

“Funds for marine management areas (MMAs) (including protected areas) managed by government agencies depend almost entirely on allocations made by governments from national budgets or official development aid. These arrangements are highly uncertain because they tend to vary with political cycles and available public sector financing.

Blue finance’s primary objective is to structure and manage a suite of impact investments in marine conservation biodiversity in three Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Our main approach relies on long-term co-management agreements (10 - 15 years) to operate the MMAs with positive financial returns, as well as conservation and local social impacts. We are in the proof of concept stage, with some of the financing secured with impact investors and local investors.

“The MMA systems protect more than 70% of the critical coastal ecosystems of the islands (up to 100% in St. Kitts and Nevis). For efficient management, an MMA system requires important financial investments and human resources. A minimum permanent staff of 15 to 20 professionals is expected to conduct traditional activities of protected area management (i.e., soft enforcement, environmental actions, education, scientific monitoring, maintenance, and management). In addition, to become a partner of the economic development of the country, the staff shall also develop specific tourism products related to the biodiversity and enhance the visitor experience.

“Primary up-front investments will have to cover the purchase/restoration of visitor centers, vessels, vehicles, signage and underwater assets, equipment, water quality devices, multimedia technologies, and preliminary studies.

“Blue finance identified Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreements as one of the preferred means of co-management of MMAs. The private sector is expected to provide the majority of the required funds to improve and manage the area and receive a return on investment via different sources. This approach will reduce the financial burden on the government and improve the entrepreneurial approach of the protected areas. The operator is expected to be a private company owned primarily by local stakeholders.

“The main advantages of PPPs include: their flexibility to set fees and charges, establish funding mechanisms such as concessions, respond to customer needs, their ability to retain the money they earn (which gives a resulting incentive to generate funds through greater entrepreneurship), and their freedom to implement staffing policies based on efficiency and market salaries. The government in turn will maintain its core functions and will be responsible for regulations of use and zonation, validation of the management plans of the protected areas, enforcement of regulation, monitoring of marine resources and water quality, and management of fishery resources.

“The Blue finance project therefore is aimed not only at providing sufficient finance for conservation but also to ensure that it is sustainable. The PPPs proposed are not subject to a grant’s expiry date or changes to government policies, personnel, or budgets. Sporadic funding for marine conservation does not make for effective management, as when switched off, there is a return to the negative impacts that management was supposed to reduce. We see this as an exciting step towards ensuring the sustainability of resources for MMAs, leading to improvements in the health of marine ecosystems and local livelihoods.”

---- Nicolas Pascal of the Blue finance Project


To learn how to piece together the datasets, we have to listen to their story

“Historical marine ecology helps us recognize the time scales and historical contingencies that shape what we see. We began our work at the Gulf of Maine Cod Project within Daniel Pauly's and Jeremy Jackson's shifting baseline paradigm, where the tendency to forget the past is an unconscious and innate characteristic of human behavior. But there are also institutional shifting baselines that permit the repetition of stale policies and the expenditure of vast amounts of money on things that have never worked long term. For example, in the 20th century Northwest Atlantic, Sebastes fasciatus has been called redfish, rosefish, and ocean perch. Its fisheries have collapsed twice before, and each time they started up again, the fish was renamed and treated like a new species.

“There are also technological shifting baselines that make us think that complex system processes can be overlooked just because we invented a new piece of equipment. Spotter planes and fish finders initially increase catch, but then exacerbate rates of decline, just as tub trawls did in the 19th century.

“And there are methodological shifting baselines when sensitive analyses require a do-over because data exhibit imperfections or discontinuities or collection methods change. For that reason, most data collected before 1980 is suspect, even though spatial resolution is generally as high or higher than that readily available to researchers today. 

“Add to this, requirements for data driven results from government or NGO funding. Researchers have about five years to prove the worth of an investment. Projects that may not gestate in that time are termed high risk, even though they may eventually yield valuable data or insights.

“All these things already impede the long-term research needed to address complex changes in the oceans. Unstable government policies make the situation worse. Soviet five-year agriculture plans were failures. Similar demands today from a host of institutional actors may skew or discourage research critical for addressing complex problems across a range of scales.

“From my perspective as a historical ecologist, we need to learn how to piece together the datasets we have, listen to their stories, and discover their internal workings and interactions. Complex adaptive systems theory is good for this. Once rates and scales have been determined, the data can be linked together to form a discontinuous and imperfect picture. Then we can ask what we think we want to know.”

---- Karen Alexander of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

By Tundi Agardy, Contributing Editor, MEAM. Email: tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net

Time’s effect on us is inescapable, even in EBM. No matter how far ahead planners extend their gaze, they are grounded in the context of the moment – and subject to unexpected twists that can flip even the best of plans on their heads. Similarly, no matter how proactive and progressive the marine policies that flow from planning, the reality is that, in all forms of government, political change that undermines, or even guts, well-crafted policies can happen in an instant. And the time scales of management decision-making rarely match the time scales of ecosystem response. So even in cases without abrupt shocks, factoring time scales into EBM can be challenging.

While this issue of MEAM focuses on many aspects of time consideration in management, I’d like to address two specific issues. First, there is a mismatch of time scales that occurs when policies only address the near term while simultaneously putting into motion ecological and social processes that will exert their effects far into the future. Climate change mitigation policies and MPA planning provide examples. Carbon offsets may help governments reach near-term climate targets, but they can also have the unintended effect of delaying adoption of robust green energy investments and policy. In planning MPAs, short-term actions can in some cases constrain long-term aspirations. For instance, the top-down imposition of a no-take area may achieve the immediate objective of protecting a bit of habitat, but it may also alienate users and undermine long-term stewardship. Effectively, the time frame of what is achievable does not match the time frame of what is desirable.  Policy makers thus need to anticipate the long-term consequences of short-term decisions.

Which generations bear the benefits and which the burdens?

The second issue concerns the mismatch of political decision-making and natural system response. Marine management provides many good examples. Establishing fisheries closures to protect stocks of long-lived species may not show measurable effects for decades. So while the costs of management are borne by users now, the benefits flowing from that management may only be felt by their successors.  Restoration of biodiversity for the purpose of enhancing ecosystem services can also take decades, with a similarly skewed cost burden / benefit allocation across generations. Policy makers need to carefully consider how to market management decisions that will only result in positive effects far in the future, and they need to manage expectations carefully. 

Paradoxically, the reverse condition exists in some marine policies that seek to promote blue growth*. Much of the world’s frenetic marine activity is driven by prospects for fairly short-term reward and profit. But the Blue Economy has its groundings in sustainability, and that means controlling immediate exploitation so that it does not undermine long-term strategies for sustainability. That sustainability entails three parallel commitments: 1) maintaining or improving ecosystem health to sustain continued production of goods and services; 2) ensuring that growth is socially sustainable, meaning that benefits are widely shared among the very stakeholders who will become stewards of the ocean; and 3) ensuring the growth is economically sustainable, with investments paying dividends to investors and the public sector remaining committed to maintaining the conditions needed for private sector investment.  One needs only to look at the time qualifiers inherent in those requisites – ‘continued’, ‘stewards that will become’, ‘remaining committed’ – to see that the time frames underpinning a true Blue Economy are indeed beyond the near term time horizons in which politicians operate.

Very few would argue with the central dogma that we should be managing not only for today, but also for many tomorrows to come. This means anticipating the long-term consequences of policies and regulations and adapting management to the time scales of ecosystems. It may also require governance regimes that are resilient to wildly swinging political pendulums. The question is, how? How do we plan for the unknowable?

Building policy immortality

I don’t pretend to know the answer. But one possibility is to build our EBM initiatives with so much public support that they achieve a kind of policy immortality – and can withstand surprising and disconcerting political changes. Everyone would like to see a brighter future for their children, or the children of their extended families, friends, and communities. Businesses want to ensure their investments will stand the test of time. Even politicians are concerned with their legacies.  These sentiments can be corralled to build the sort of public support for long-term effective management that could elicit a groundswell of opposition to any action that undermines sustainability and equitable sharing of benefits.

To withstand the test of time, governments can establish multi-sectoral governance arrangements and even parastatal agencies to oversee marine management, much like the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in Australia. By removing the governance of large marine areas from any one government agency, managers can be more forward-looking, and the risk of political changes undermining plans can be reduced. In fact, the GBRMPA Outlook Reporting, which presents decision-makers with scenarios of how the reef ecosystem will look in light of certain management actions in the future, projects not only a year out but also 10 and 100 years out.  At the same time, government can incentivize private sector investment in the future of marine ecosystems. In so doing, private sector commitment to sustainability could result in companies banding with the public to ensure political shocks don’t throw us off course. We already see this happening on the climate change front, and we can work hard to make it happen for the broader protection of the oceans and our planet too.

* I am using the term “blue growth” to mean increased exploitation of marine resources for economic gain, sustainably or unsustainably, and “Blue Economy” to mean development that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Apologies to those who use these terms interchangeably!