The Challenge

Sustainable Seas

Our objective is to enhance utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints. 

Our mission is

“To transform Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to enhance our marine economy, and to improve decision-making and the health of our seas through ecosystem-based management.”

Our strategy 2019-2024

In June 2019 we released the Challenge’s core research project portfolio for Phase II (20192024). This built on our research strategy for Phase II.

All Phase II projects are being co-developed with Maori and stakeholders; find out more about the process and timeline.

Innovation Fund - call for EoIs is open

We invite applicants to submit Expressions of Interest for research projects that will contribute directly to building a ‘blue economy’ in Aotearoa New Zealand. The closing date for the submissions is 12 noon, Monday 18 May 2020Find out more

Background to Sustainable Seas Challenge

The Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge was established in 2014.  It is one of 11 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment-funded Challenges aimed at taking a more strategic approach to science investment. Funding for National Science Challenges was allocated for ten years in two five-year periods.

Phase 1 completed on 30 June 2019. In 2018, after a mid-way review, it was confirmed that the Sustainable Seas Challenge would receive $39.8 million for the second five-year research phase from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2024.

Latest news and updates

Haere mai to our new Chair

We are delighted to welcome our new Chair, Tania Te Rangingangana Simpson, who brings a wealth of knowledge that is directly relevant to our research into bringing together tikanga and mātauranga Māori with western science and New Zealand law.

Blue economy core research concepts open for review

The Challenge Leadership Team has developed core research project concepts for Theme 2: Creating value from a blue economy.