Green Growth Based on Marine Resources: Ecological and Socio-Economic Constraints (GreenMAR) is a project about the fundamental challenge of green growth and how to use our renewable natural resources more efficiently while ensuring that the ecosystems retain their functionality. GreenMAR is funded by NordForsk.
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The fundamental challenge of green growth is to use our renewable natural resources more efficiently, while ensuring that the ecosystems retain their functionality. Marine ecosystems provide unique opportunities to meet a growing global demand for healthy and nutritious food, if harvested more efficiently and sustainably. Yet, overexploitation, climate change and other anthropogenic stressors challenge such a development. We here form an interdisciplinary Nordic research team, linking up with researchers in the USA, Russia, and the Netherlands. By including a leading Nordic fishing company, the relevance and utility of the research is enhanced. We propose to integrate different essential disciplines that need to be integrated to achieve green growth climatology, ecology, sociology and economy. We investigate how the ecological and social components of complex marine systems can adapt to the growing stress factors, and provide management recommendations for improved harvesting strategies. Climatologists and oceanographers provide state-of-the-art model results on how climate affects sea surface temperature, ocean circulation and freshwater run-off. Modeled and observed environmental data are combined with biological time-series to unravel effects on fish populations, with particular focus on possible critical thresholds in the effects of climate and fishing. Sociologists perform in-depth studies on how fishermen adapt to changes in their environment. These insights will be integrated in social-ecological models to quantify how systemic properties, such as resilience, sustainability, and viability, will be affected by climate change. In parallel, bio- economic models will be developed to predict the economic effects of climate change and to investigate how industry and regulation can adapt in a cost effective way. Together, such a multidisciplinary approach provides knowledge to ensure the sustainable management of our oceans, as a necessity and a catalyst for green growth. Moreover, through strong focuses on training and communication (by organizing a series of policy forums, outreach events, workshops and courses), we aim to contribute to the formation of a new generation of multi-disciplinarily skilled scientists, administrators and industrialists.