blue governance

Centre for Blue Governance

Securing the future of the planet's marine and freshwaters

We're committed to the protection, restoration and sustainable governance of aquatic environments

Aquatic environments cover more than 70% of our planet's surface, and the value of the global oceans is estimated to be US$24 trillion.

Our international community of inter-disciplinary researchers are working to tackle challenges impacting aquatic systems worldwide. These include the climate, pollution, and biodiversity crises, and the safeguarding of human health and wellbeing. 

We are committed to research that supports evidence-driven policy and decision-making, and better governance of our aquatic environments for the common good.  New holistic solutions are urgently needed.

Our mission

The Centre for Blue Governance (CBG) aims to promote sustainable aquatic resource management through research, policy development, social and environmental justice, and education. We provide inter-disciplinary expertise to create and implement blue growth strategies in countries and political entities around the world. We also strive to expand blue economic perspectives by encompassing marine and freshwater systems and conceptualising them as development spaces.

The CBG tackles current research themes as well as elaborating on and supplementing established ideas. Our work encompasses numerous sub-topics within five central themes.

Explore our themes below.

What is blue governance?

The blue economy is an economic term relating to the sustainable exploitation of marine and freshwater resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and overall aquatic ecosystem health.

Blue governance is an emerging concept which integrates Blue Economy and Blue Growth with the governance principle. Governance refers to structures and processes which ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment, and broad-based participation. 

Blue Governance therefore relates to the public and private institutional mechanisms (such as institutional coordination, private-public partnerships and institutional arrangements) required to implement Blue Economy and Blue Growth initiatives, strategies and policies.

UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance

A UNESCO Chair is a team led by a higher education or research institution that partners with UNESCO on a project to advance knowledge and practice in an area of common priority. The UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance is led by the Centre for Blue Governance, University of Portsmouth, to develop around the domain of Ocean and inland waters governance (Blue Governance) that is transdisciplinary by nature and includes disciplines such as economics, management, law, policy, ecology, marine biology, geography, transport logistics and information science. 

Professor Pierre Failler was appointed as the Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance in December 2021. A set of areas relating to education (PhD programme and visiting fellowship), the natural and social sciences, culture and communication, started to develop since then.

Follow us on X @UNESCOChair_OG

UNESCO

Research projects

MaCoBios

The MaCoBioS project brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts, to ensure the efficient and integrated management and conservation strategies to help the most-important marine coastal ecosystems to face climate change.
MaCoBios
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Marine SABRES

Co-design, co-produce, and co-deliver a straightforward Social-Ecological Systems framework (simple SES) to analyse, understand and solve marine environmental management problems in simple situations.
MarineSABRES
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GREPPAO

Contribute to the achievement of the overall objective of the PESCAO Programme which is to improve the contribution of fisheries resources to sustainable development, food security and poverty reduction in West Africa.
Greppao
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Gentoo Collaboration

The University is partnering with Gentoo Sailing Team to conduct world-leading global marine research to help measure the challenges faced by the world’s oceans.
Gentoo Collaboration
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BlueGreen Governance

The main goal of BlueGreen Governance is to develop innovative land-sea governance schemes based on scientific evidence and societal choices.
BlueGreen Governance
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Native Oyster Restoration

The Native Oyster (Ostrea edulis) Restoration Ecology project has created a model for restoration of this key habitat, by relaying millions of oysters into the Solent.
Native Oysters
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Competitive Angling as a Scientific Tool

Our project uses the newly established annual sea angling competition located in the Solent to collect relevant data, test and optimise the citizen science method to a secure a significant cost-effective legacy.
Angling
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Affiliated research centres and groups

UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance

The UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance develops around the domain of Ocean and inland waters governance (Blue Governance) that is transdisciplinary by nature.

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Institute of Marine Sciences

Explore the marine ecosystems of the Solent European Marine Site at our shoreside marine station, complete with floating research platform, £2 million aquarium and laboratory suite, and 2 research vessels, RV Calypso and RV Noctiluca

IMS Pontoon; 18th June 2019
Discover the institute

Revolution Plastics Institute

From combatting microplastics to analysing plastic policies around the globe, we’re putting our research into practice, working with local groups, organisations, businesses and individuals to solve the planet's plastic problem.

Photo by James Wakibia
Find out more

Latest news and blogs

News

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The Team Gentoo sailing team

University teams up with Hampshire sailor to help protect the world’s oceans

14 February 2024

University teams up with Hampshire sailor to help protect the world’s oceans
STANDARD LICENSE; PLEASE SEE ADDITIONAL ASSET FOR FULL LICENSE TERMS.

Can using biodegradable fishing gear help reduce the cost of ghost fishing?

11 July 2023

Can using biodegradable fishing gear help reduce the cost of ghost fishing?
Oysters

New resource to help in the fight against climate change

27 April 2023

New resource to help in the fight against climate change
Only to be used in relation to Alex's work / research

University of Portsmouth researcher wins best paper award in prestigious academic journal

29 November 2022

University of Portsmouth researcher wins best paper award in prestigious academic journal
World Ocean Day - Photo by Mary Ray on Unsplash

“Heading for failure”: UN Sustainable Development Goal for world oceans.

25 July 2022

“Heading for failure”: UN Sustainable Development Goal for world oceans.

Blogs

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A person sorting plastic waste © James Wakibia

West Africa’s plastic waste could be fuelling the economy instead of polluting the ocean: experts

West Africa’s plastic waste could be fuelling the economy instead of polluting the ocean: experts
Fisherman in sunset - Photo by Jacqueline O'Gara on Unsplash

How marine fisheries can add millions of tonnes to Africa’s catch

How marine fisheries can add millions of tonnes to Africa’s catch
Fishing nets

Can biodegradable nets tackle unsustainable fishing?

Can biodegradable nets tackle unsustainable fishing?
TACKLING OUR PLASTICS PROBLEM WITH BIG TECH AND BIG THINKING

Tackling our plastics problem with big tech and big thinking

Tackling our plastics problem with big tech and big thinking

Recent events and seminars

BlueGreen Governance: Evolutionary perspectives on coastal governance

Chaired by UoP CBG Theme Lead Dr Gianluca Ferraro, with keynote speakers Professor Raoul Beunen (Open Universiteit, the Netherlands) and Professor Kristof Van Assche (University of Alberta), this BlueGreen Governance webinar introduced 'Evolutionary Governance Theory' and developing strategies for sustainability transitions in coastal governance.

Took place: Tuesday, April 30., 3.30-4.30pm GMT, online


"Deep Rising": Free screening hosted by the Centre for Blue Governance

During #GreenWeek2024 at the UoP, the Centre for Blue Governance was delighted to host a free screening of "Deep Rising", a film by Matthieu Rytz, and narrated by Jason Momoa. 

This visually stunning film took our viewers inside the companies and technologies seeking to mine the ocean floor, and exposed the inner workings of the international organisation that is writing the rules for seabed mining, scrutinizing the case for and against that exploitation while exploring innovative solutions to both combat climate change and conserve the deep ocean.

It was lovely to see a fantastic turn-out of UoP staff and students at our CBG social event, and it has certainly sparked some interesting follow-on conversations. Check out our April newsletter for more info!!

Took place: Wednesday, April 24., 4.00-6.00pm GMT, Buckingham Building, Lecture Theatre 1.01

Centre management

For more details on the work of the Centre, please contact Helen Currie by emailing helen.currie@port.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)2392 844184

Research themes

Sub-topics

  • Ocean and Water Governance
  • Marine and freshwater policies

  • Maritime security

  • Spatial planning

Theme lead: Dr Gianluca Ferraro 

Deputy: Dr Tegan Evans 

Sub-topics

  • Seafarers’ rights and well being
  • Ship breaking industry and sites
  • Fisheries and labour
  • Blue tourism and labour
  • Blue economy human rights and labour rights awareness
  • Blue economy modern slavery survivors access to remedy

Theme lead: Prof. Leila Choukroune
Deputy: Dr Sophie Quintin

Sub-topics

  • Fishery management
  • Fishing by-catch of birds, turtles and mammals
  • Aquaculture development
  • Marine protected areas
  • Habitat restoration

Theme lead: Dr Ben Drakeford 

Deputy: Andy Forse

Sub-topics

  • Marine renewables energies
  • Logistics and safety
  • Shipping
  • Port management
  • Oil spill prevention
  • Biofouling and anti-fouling
  • Off-shore technologies

Theme lead: Dr Negar Akbari 

Deputy: Open chair

Sub-topics

  • Marine and coastal ecosystem functioning
  • Ecosystem carbon sequestration and storage
  • Ecosystem resilience
  • Marine debris litter and plastics
  • Biodegradation and bioprospection
  • Marine and coastal ecosystem service valuation

Theme lead: Prof. Joanne Preston

Deputy: Open chair

Our PhD students

Grégoire Touron-Gardic

Grégoire Touron-Gardic - Perspectives and Tools for improving Ocean Protection

About: Gregoire’s PhD is centred around three main and interdependent components of Blue Governance, as defined by the CBG. These components occur at different levels of intervention including: the “decision-making” aspect, i.e., how public policies can positively impact environment management;  marine resources and the public policies which govern them; specific management tools, highlighting how public policies are implemented.  Grégoire is doing a PhD by publication.

Expected completion: 2024

Revolution Plastics Selection
Antaya March

Antaya March - Marine policy and management in the Blue Economy

About: Antaya is doing a PhD by publication.

Expected completion: 2024

Daisy Taylor

Daisy Taylor - From Marine Protected Areas to Nature-based solutions

About: Daisy's PhD will be exploring stakeholder and community interactions with marine and coastal nature-based solutions (NbS). The success of NbS has been connected to the inclusion of the community that surrounds them, with the rationale that by including the community as stakeholders, NbS may be developed with increased longevity, ecosystem services, benefits and acceptance. The project will evaluate how stakeholder understanding can impact the designation and implementation of marine and coastal nature-based solutions. 

Expected completion: 2025

Study with us

The Blue Review

Our regular newsletter, the Blue Review, provides an update of CBG activities, recent publications, and project updates. It also includes a wealth of opportunities such as events to attend, courses, job opportunities and conferences.

Sign up to our newsletter View our newsletter archives

Contact us

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