Navigating marine social-ecological systems

We are using sci-art to enhance public awareness and explore public understanding of risk and uncertainty in New Zealand’s marine environment

Our aim is to identify and/or improve our understanding of important institutional, social and cultural factors that need to be incorporated into ecosystem-based management, for it to be successfully used to manage New Zealand’s marine estate.

Project leader: Karen Fisher, University of Auckland

How to build trust in science?

The aim of this project is to identify and/or improve our understanding of important institutional, social and cultural factors that need to be incorporated into EBM for it to be successfully used to manage New Zealand’s marine estate.

We are:

  • Considering how knowledge of cumulative effects (ie multiple activities or stressors in the same place) could be better included in decision-making frameworks
  • Assessing how Māori and stakeholders perceive risk and uncertainty associated with current and future marine activities so that we can better understand how different marine activities are perceived to affect ocean health, and identify gaps in knowledge that result in these perceptions and misperceptions
  • Evaluating a range of methods for communicating and sharing science and knowledge that aim to build trust in the knowledge produced to inform decision-making

To do this we use a range of social science methods to engage Māori, industry representatives, resource managers, decisionmakers, environmental organisations and communities to examine key issues in the marine environment. We are investigating how governance and management strategies address cumulative impacts by running scenario workshops with decision-makers, scientists and Treaty partners.

We are using sci-art to enhance public awareness and explore public understanding of risk and uncertainty in New Zealand’s marine environment.

We are using focus groups and interviews to evaluate the Challenge’s capacity to build trust with Māori and stakeholders, and to consider how trust is developed and maintained between Challenge scientists and experts who have diverse research interests, experiences and approaches.

The Unseen: this art-science-education research is working with communities and school children to explore the risks associated with environmental and climate change, and how this might affect the way we manage New Zealand’s marine ecosystems.

Latest news and updates

Sustainable Seas features on Ocean Bounty S2 EP7

Sir Rob Fenwick,  our Chairman was interviewed about Sustainable Seas on S2 EP7 of Ocean Bounty. You can watch it here on TV 3 on demand.  (6.57 to 11.20).  

Consultation opens re 2019–2024 strategy

Improving marine management is critical to New Zealand's future health and wealth, but research in isolation is not enough. Excellent engagement with, and participation from, all users and sectors of society is essential.

We therefore invite comment on our draft strategy for Phase II (2019–2024). This strategy has been co-developed with Māori and stakeholders.

Sun, sea, sand – and marine science

During Seaweek, more than 4,600 school pupils joined 6 Sustainable Seas researchers for 3 days of marine science fieldwork in Tasman Bay, as part of the LEARNZ virtual field trip Sustainable seas – essential for New Zealand’s health and wealth.