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Oceans and Society: Feedbacks between ocean and human health
  • +14
  • Kirsty L Nash,
  • Ingrid Van Putten,
  • Karen Alexander,
  • Christopher Cvitanovic,
  • Silvana Bettiol,
  • Jeff Dambacher,
  • Anna K Farmery,
  • Emily J Flies,
  • Sierra Ison,
  • Rachel Kelly,
  • Mary Mackay,
  • Linda Murray,
  • Kimberley Norris,
  • Lucy M Robinson,
  • Jennifer Scott,
  • Delphi Ward,
  • Joanna Vince
Kirsty L Nash
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology, Future Seas
Author Profile
Ingrid Van Putten
CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Karen Alexander
CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Christopher Cvitanovic
Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Silvana Bettiol
School of Medicine, College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania
Jeff Dambacher
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Anna K Farmery
Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, University of Wollongong, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Emily J Flies
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania
Sierra Ison
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Rachel Kelly
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Mary Mackay
CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere, Centre for Marine Socioecology
Linda Murray
School of Health Sciences, College of Health, Massey University
Kimberley Norris
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Tasmania
Lucy M Robinson
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Oceans Graduate School, The University of Western Australia, Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia
Jennifer Scott
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Tasmania
Delphi Ward
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Joanna Vince
School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Centre for Marine Socioecology

Abstract

The concentration of human population along coastlines has far-reaching effects on ocean and societal health. The oceans provide benefits to humans such as food, coastal protection and improved mental well-being, but can also impact negatively via natural disasters. At the same time, humans influence ocean health, for example, via coastal development or through environmental stewardship. Given the strong feedbacks between ocean and human health there is a need to promote desirable interactions, while minimising undesirable interactions. To this end, we articulate two scenarios for 2030. First, Business-as-Usual, named ‘Command & (Out of) Control ’, focuses on the anticipated future based on our current trajectory. Second, a more sustainable scenario called ‘Living & Connecting ’, emphasises the development of interactions between oceans and society consistent with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We describe a potential pathway to achieving the ‘Living & Connecting’ scenario, centred on improving marine citizenship, achieving a more equitable distribution of power among stakeholders, and more equitable access to resources and opportunities. The constituent actions of this pathway can be categorised into four groups: (i) improved approaches to science and health communication that account for society’s diverse values, beliefs and worldviews, (ii) a shift towards more trusted relationships among stakeholders to enable two-way knowledge exchange, (iii) economic incentives that encourage behavioural changes necessary for achieving desired sustainability outcomes, and (iv) stronger regulations that simultaneously focus on ocean and human health. We contend that these changes will provide improved outcomes for both oceans and society over the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

Peer review status:Published

04 Aug 2021Published in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 10.1007/s11160-021-09669-5