Knowseas Project Results

| January 5, 2012

From MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland)

One of the huge gaps in marine policy research is understanding the views of the public when it comes to valuing and managing the marine environment. While as engaged researchers we naturally place the marine environment high within our own values - but are the the views of the public substantially different? What is the importance of public discourse?

A recent report by the European Knowseas project (led by SAMS) charts public opinion of 7000 people across 7 European countries concerning marine values and management approaches. The results highlight that while the oceans are generally low in public opinion, there is a strong call for more civil society involvement in governance. Approaches such as MPAs and marine spatial planning, while in early development, are strongly supported by the public. Views across countries differed dramatically in terms of services delivered by marine systems. The emerging ‘ecosystem approach’ was important with the public highlighting that non-economic values rank as important as traditional economic outputs.

The results raise several interesting questions and consequences - notably the demand for more co-management, public involvement and democratic accountability in the governance of the coasts and seas and the importance of science communication.

The report can be downloaded here.

[SSACN]  If REAL accountability were possible it could have saved so many of our stocks from the mismanagement of politicians and fisheries managers.

Category: Other Organisations

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