The GreenMAR network aims at understanding to what extent the ecological and social components of complex marine systems are capable of adapting to growing stress factors, like fishing or climate change, to provide corresponding management recommendations that can ensure green growth.
- The fundamental challenge of green growth is to use our renewable natural resources more efficiently, while ensuring that they retain their functionality. Marine ecosystems are under particular pressure due to fishing and increased human activity, such as maritime transport, oil exploitation, and coastal development. Overfishing, habitat destruction, nitrification and freshwater run-off are just examples of anthropogenic stress factors that act in concert with climate change and threaten the viability of our oceans.
- We study marine systems in the Nordic regions, which host some of the largest commercial fish stocks in the world that are not only important for coastal communities, but for the Nordic societies as a whole. Global access to essential nutrition cannot be achieved without relying on the invaluable proteins coming from our Nordic oceans. As an interdisciplinary Nordic research team, we join forces with researchers in the USA, Russia, and the Netherlands, along with one of the largest Nordic fishing companies.
- We investigate to what extent the ecological and social components of complex marine systems are capable of adapting to the growing stress factors and provide corresponding management recommendations for improved harvesting strategies. Climatologists and oceanographers provide state-of-the-art models on how climate affects sea surface temperature, ocean circulation and freshwater run-off, that will be combined with large-scale ecological time-series to unravel ecological key mechanism and detect critical thresholds.
- Sociologists perform in-depth studies that will provide good grist for our empirical mills to quantify fishers’ knowledge about the system and ability to adapt to changes. 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.