10. November 2015 Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work

maribus and the Kiel Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean« turn the spotlight on sustainability and the oceans in the new »World Ocean Review«, now in its fourth edition. In doing so, they make the link between sustainability theory and research on ways of responsibly managing the oceans and their resources.


We humans have sought proximity to the sea since time immemorial, for our coastlines offer many opportunities and benefits to those who live there. With a rapidly growing world population, however, we need to think about the future of our oceans and coasts. The pressure on our oceans has increased immensely, mainly due to human use – but marine resources are finite. How can conservation and use be reconciled? Which criteria should be applied to assess potential development pathways towards sustainable use of the marine environment? What practical action must be taken to ensure this sustainable use? What form of compensation arrangements should be established between winners and losers? And what exactly does »sustainability« – which has become one of today’s inflationary terms – mean in relation to the oceans and coastal regions?

This fourth edition of »World Ocean Review«, entitled »Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work« (WOR 4) and published by the non-profit organization maribus gGmbH with support from mare magazine, the International Ocean Institute (IOI) and the Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean«, takes a global view of the topics of sustainability and the oceans. »Sustainability« has become one of today’s inflationary terms and its meaning varies according to definition or context. The WOR contributors from the Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean« make the link between sustainability theory and research on ways of responsibly managing the oceans and their resources. They present these robust scientific concepts in a clear and accessible manner for the general reader, and show how civil society and policy makers can also make a meaningful contribution.

»With ›World Ocean Review‹, our aim is to give the general public the basic toolkit to sharpen their understanding of sustainability by providing comprehensive information about the various services that the oceans provide,« says Professor Martin Visbeck, Spokesperson of the Kiel Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean« and an oceanographer at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel. »Progress towards the sustainable use of the oceans is possible if all stakeholder groups work together. For a global sustainable development agenda, therefore, it is essential to coordinate the various types of use and the protection of the marine environment more effectively, especially on a transnational basis.«

The »World Ocean Review« also offers a detailed overview of the various ecosystem services provided by the oceans for human communities, such as oxygen production, food, wind and wave energy and seaways for maritime transport. It looks at the role of non-renewable resources such as oil, gas and marine aggregates (i.e. gravel and sand), and shows how mangroves and dunes can protect coastlines. Today, many of these services are under threat from overexploitation, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to identifying the causes, WOR 4 therefore sets out the scale of the problem and shows how attempts are now being made in various scientific disciplines to develop viable hypotheses and models through which the findings of sustainability theoreticians can be translated into social, political and economic strategies with practical relevance.

»Marine conservation is most effective when the public itself takes action. A well-informed public with a good understanding of the marine environment can exert the necessary pressure to effect policy changes,« says Nikolaus Gelpke, Managing Director of maribus gGmbH, mareverlag publisher and IOI President. »To that end, however, it is often necessary to provide support so that people are able to take responsibility for the sustainable management of their environment. This capacity building is now a policy demand at the highest level and is enshrined in the United Nations’ new global sustainability agenda.«

»World Ocean Review 4« will be launched at the Representation of Schleswig-Holstein in Berlin on 10 November 2015 at an evening event attended by guests from politics, business, science, the media and education.


maribus gGmbH was founded by mare publisher Nikolaus Gelpke in 2008. A non-profit organization, its aim is to raise public awareness of the linkages between various aspects of marine science and contribute to more effective marine conservation. With its first »World Ocean Review« (WOR 1), maribus succeeded in delivering a comprehensive, detailed and unique report about the state of the world’s oceans and the relationships between the ocean and prevailing ecological, economic and sociopolitical conditions. To date, around 70,000 copies of this review (in English and German) have been requested from around the world. Subsequent publications »World Ocean Review 2 – The Future of Fish – The Fisheries of the Future« and »World Ocean Review 3 – Marine Resources – Opportunities and Risks« offer more detailed thematic analyses.

The fourth maribus publication »Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work« has continued the cooperation with the WOR partners, who represent years of commitment to the oceans and the highest academic standards:
• the International Ocean Institute (IOI), founded by Elisabeth Mann Borgese in 1972,
• the Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean« – a research group comprising more than 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines, supported by Kiel University, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, and funded by federal and state governments within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Research Foundation (DFG),
• and mare – the Magazine of the Sea.

»World Ocean Review 4« has a circulation of 25,000 copies. The publication is not sold but is distributed free of charge with no profit-making objective. It can be ordered from the WOR website (www.worldoceanreview.com).
In addition to the German version, an English edition is available. The full report is published simultaneously on the Internet at www.worldoceanreview.com.

»World Ocean Review 4 – Sustainable Use of Our Oceans – Making Ideas Work«, published by maribus gGmbH, Hamburg 2015, 152 pages, with numerous illustrations and photographs, paperback.

Contact and sample copies:
maribus gGmbH               
Stephanie Haack
Presse und Öffentlichkeit
Telefon: +49-40-368076-22

Exzellenzcluster „Ozean der Zukunft“
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Friederike Balzereit, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Telefon: +49-431-880-3032

Press material

2.4 MB / 5315x3538 px / download

The interview participants and moderator
Environmental ethicist Konrad Ott, mare publisher and initiator of the “World Ocean Review” Nikolaus Gelpke, EU politician Gesine Meißner, former director of the IASS in Potsdam Klaus Töpfer, marine biologist Antje Boetius, oceanographer and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” Martin Visbeck, Schleswig-Holstein Minister of the Environment Robert Habeck, moderator Karsten Schwanke (from left to right)
Foto: Jan Windszus