Oceans of opportunity or rough seas? What does the future hold for developments in European marine policy?

Tavis Potts*, Tim O'Higgins, Emily Hastings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The management of European seas is undergoing a process of major reform. In the past, oceans and coastal policy has traditionally evolved in a fragmented and uncoordinated manner, developed by different sector-based agencies and arms of government with competing aims and objectives. Recently, the call for integrated and ecosystem-based approaches has driven the conceptualization of a new approach. At the scale of Europe through the Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in national jurisdictions such as the Marine and Coastal Access Act in the United Kingdom, ecosystem-based planning is becoming the norm. There are major challenges to this process and this paper explores, in particular, the opportunities inherent in building truly integrated approaches that cross different sectors of activity, integrate across scales, incorporate public involvement and build a sense of oceans citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5682-5700
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the royal society a-Mathematical physical and engineering sciences
Issue number1980
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2012


  • marine policy
  • policy integration
  • regional seas
  • common fisheries policy
  • management
  • governance
  • strategy
  • coastal
  • framework
  • science

Cite this