Project Publications
August 25
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Local Marine Stewardship and Ocean Defenders

Nathan Bennett, Philippe Le Billion, Dyhia Belhabib & Paula Satizábal
artisanal fishers boats
Artisanal fishing boats in the Bay of Lima, Peru. Photo by Rocío López de la Lama
In this paper, we argue how local marine stewardship initiatives and ocean defenders are at the forefront of ocean sustainability efforts, yet often receive insufficient recognition and support. We make five recommendations to bring greater attention and support to local marine stewardship and ocean defenders in research, policy, practice, and funding.

Recent years have seen growing attention to the role of local environmental stewardship and environmental defenders in protecting nature and safeguarding the basic human right to a healthy environment. To date, however, much less attention has been given to local environmental stewardship and environmental defenders in the marine and coastal environment. The idea of ocean stewards or defenders is frequently associated with individuals or organizations far from the ocean, not directly affected by the degradation of marine environments, and peripherally engaged in on-the-sea actions to protect the ocean. Yet, those most actively involved in and impacted by ocean protection are groups or communities who live near, have rights to, or rely on the ocean for subsistence, livelihoods, and wellbeing. This comment aims to bring greater attention and support to the grassroots marine stewardship initiatives and the local ocean defenders who are at the forefront of ocean sustainability efforts. We do so by exploring types of marine stewardship initiatives, highlighting the challenges being experienced by ocean defenders, and identifying key recommendations for moving forward to better recognize and support local marine stewardship and ocean defenders.

Citation

Bennett, N., Le Billon, P.,Belhabib, D., and Satizabal, P. (2022). Local marine stewardship and ocean defenders. npj Ocean Sustainability 1:3

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