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Marine Policy. ..or the black art of converting politicians into custodians of the environment Steve Hall November 2008 National Marine Coordination Office, NOCS. Why call it Earth, when it’s clearly Ocean? (Arthur C Clarke).

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Marine Policy

..or the black art of converting politicians into custodians of the environment

Steve Hall November 2008

National Marine Coordination Office, NOCS

Why call it Earth, when it’s clearly Ocean? (Arthur C Clarke)

If you gathered all of the waters, from oceans, rivers, clouds, ice - and gathered

them into a ball, it would be the size of the blue sphere over Europe shown below..

Science Paper:

Ocean drilling, Damon Teagle

Heiko Palike Arctic Palaeoceanography

Swire Foundation Ocean monitoring.

David Hydes

Atlantic Overturning Circulation

Harry Bryden, Stuart Cunningham, Hannah Longworth

Ocean surface fluxes &

Saharan dust,

Eric Achteberg


The oceans is LOW PRIORITY compared with schools, health, economy.

Parliamentary time is in short supply.

Change only occurs if pressure is applied.

The default is the status quo

Most people only experience the

marine environment during their

summer vacation

What causes policy change?

  • Emergencies

  • Voter pressure

  • Treaty obligations

  • Lobbying

  • Incentives

  • New knowledge

  • Embarrassment

  • Commercial advantage

  • Genuine concern from individual politicians

Changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and ocean

The ‘great ocean conveyor belt’

Acidification of the Oceans

Climate Refugees?

Ice-free Arctic ocean by 2070

European Maine Framework Strategy Directive

  • This is becoming the PRIMARY DRIVER for targets and objectives.

  • Defra and Scottish Govt agree that ALL of the overarching policies come from MFSD

  • See

  • It’s only 23 pages – worth a read

  • Applies to all waters claimed by EU Member States

  • Sub-regions are NE Atlantic, Baltic, Med and Black sea – very similar to existing OSPAR boundaries.

MFSD contd

  • Seeks to protect, preserve and where possible restore biodiversity by 2020

  • Will deliver the environmental pillar of the future Maritime Policy

  • Member States must take measures to achieve Good Environmental Status by 2020 (nb ‘take measures’ not the same as ‘achieve’)

  • Overlaps with Water Framework Directive but more holistic and recognises role of Marine Protected Areas

Policy development

“Marine and maritime science has a huge role to play in the formulation of the measures that will contribute to increased competitiveness and sustainable economic growth and jobs in the European knowledge-based economy.”

Commissioner Joe Borg

Fisheries and Maritime Affairs

EurOCEAN 2007, Aberdeen

A dynamic maritime economy in harmony with the marine environment, supported by sound marine scientific research and technology

The oceans and seas bound Europe,

but they also bind it together.

José Manuel Barroso, EU President

Chronology of Events


EU Parliament 2005

Brussels 2004

Galway 2004

From Green to Blue

Blue Book


Action Plan

Oct 2007

Brussels 2007

Aberdeen 2007

Bremen 2007

EU Green Paper on Maritime Policy

The importance of Marine Objectives

  • Objectives linked to sustainable development help keep everyone on the same track

  • Businesses welcome consistent guidelines

  • There still isn’t much clarity as to what the UK’s marine objectives actually are – what exactly does ‘good environmental status’ mean?

  • No good just sustaining present status, aim must be to restore and recover – but without becoming ‘wildlife gardens’ – the sea has a tremendous capacity for self-repair.

Coordinated input to Government consultations

Proposed functions for a Marine Agency

The Planning Bill – an example of un-joined-up Government

  • Requires National Policy Statements

  • Established an Infrastructure Planning Committee to oversee major new projects such as nuclear power stations, motorways – and offshore renewable energy installations >100 MW

  • But NOT connected so far with the Marine Bill or Marine Management Organisation

MSP - Current Use of the Irish Sea

  • Landuse

  • Tourism

  • Oil &Gas

  • Mariculture

  • Coastal


  • Ports &


  • Military


  • Culture

  • Conservation

  • Dredging &


  • Fishing

  • Renewable


  • Marine


  • Mineral


  • Submarine


The end

  • For more info contact me:

  • Steve Hall


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