Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Sustainable management of UK marine resources

This programme aims to:

  • improve understanding of societal perspectives and behaviours around the marine environment
  • integrate this into systems-based approaches that support development and analysis of interventions and inform effective decision-making for marine management and policy development.
Budget:
£12 million
Duration:
2019 to 2024
Partners involved:
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

The scope and what we're doing

The Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources programme aims to improve understanding of societal perspectives and behaviours concerning the marine environment, and integrate this into systems-based approaches that support the development and analysis of interventions and inform effective decision-making for marine management and policy development.

At the same time, the programme will aim to achieve an enduring change in the capability of the marine transdisciplinary research community to work more closely with stakeholders, including policymakers, industry and the public.

This programme will deliver:

  • scalable, adaptive solutions for marine management and policy development that enable intelligent regulation based on evidence-based understanding of trade-offs
  • an enduring change in the capability of the marine interdisciplinary research community and its close working on solutions with stakeholders, including policymakers, industry and the public.

This programme aims to provide opportunities to break down barriers between academic disciplines and between science and policy, and to establish a strong interdisciplinary community focusing on further developing and strengthening interdisciplinary approaches already used with some success to support decision-making in both marine and terrestrial domains, including social science and economic approaches and methodologies in natural capital accounting.

It will fill a gap in understanding the importance to the economy and to society of different components of marine natural capital and the services they underpin, enabling more comprehensive evaluation of the trade-off potential under different management scenarios and identifying interventions that will improve the marine environment and produce sustainable and resilient outcomes.

Why we're doing it

There is growing reliance on the seas for resources. Over 3 billion people depend on marine biodiversity for their livelihoods and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projects the ocean economy will double to around $3 trillion by 2030.

For the UK, it is estimated that the marine sector is worth around £47 billion gross value added, with strong growth predicted in offshore renewables and aquaculture sectors. At the same time, the marine environment is under increasing pressure from stressors such as warming, acidification, overfishing and pollution. Our coastal environments are also at increasing risk from sea-level rise and severe weather events and a reduction in the natural protection provided by, for example, beaches and seagrass beds.

This is a transformative period for the UK marine landscape, with opportunities and challenges arising from changing international governance, the drive to increase economic activity, and changing climate. Healthy oceans and seas promote economic, social and environmental prosperity, and support coastal communities, jobs, livelihoods and food security. In order to fully capitalise on these opportunities, it is necessary to develop transparent and public accounting of the benefits, goods and services that the ocean provides, and to identify and assess policy gaps, needs and best practices.

Opportunities, support and resources available

Funding opportunities

There are currently no open funding opportunities.

Past projects, outcomes and impact

Who to contact

Ask a question about the programme

Jessica Surma

Email: smmr@nerc.ukri.org

Telephone: 07925 891431

Nicola Lewis

Email: smmr@nerc.ukri.org

Telephone: 07738 121187

Programme champion

Email: smmruk@st-andrews.ac.uk

Governance, management and panels

The governance of this programme encompasses a number of different bodies which carry out different roles.

Strategic Advisory Group

This group provides strategic advice to the Programme Executive Board and to the programme champion to ensure the successful delivery of the programme’s objectives.

Programme Executive Board

The board is responsible for providing the strategic direction for the programme, the delivery of the programme’s objectives and is the ultimate decision-making authority for the programme. It comprises the programme’s delivery partners as follows:

  • NERC (co-chair)
  • ESRC (co-chair).

Secretariat

The Secretary, based at NERC head office, provides administrative support to the board.

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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