R03: Ocean Resources

How can ocean resources be exploited in a sustainable or low impact manner by an appropriate balance between ocean use and ocean protection?

Researchers from biology, geology, economics and law will investigate the potential of living and seafloor resources and new avenues of better management and governance of ocean resources.


For millennia, human beings have taken advantage of ocean usage in multiple ways. The oceans serve as transport media, provide food and other resources, and serve as a sink for human waste. For several decades the oceans have also served as a source of fossil fuel exploitation, with gas hydrates exploration as one of the most recent developments. A severe problem with living ocean resources is their overuse. Due to ill-defined property rights and missing or insufficient rules and regulations, ocean resources and services are being used in an unsustainable way. Exploitation of common property resources under open access has led to over-harvesting and severe stock depletion of major seafood species. This kind of overuse calls for national or international coordination and agreements on limiting economic activities to sustainable levels and on associated management rules.

Future Ocean provided scientific underpinning

  • to better understand the functioning or the formation living and non-living ocean resources
  • to evaluate the risks and benefits of their exploitation
  • to better understand the relationship between fishing practices and other human impacts on the genetic diversity and health of fish (and other seafood) stocks, and to define operational management rules and targets in the presence of common property and ill-defined property rights. to contribute to improved management and governance rules


Research activities