Public Involvement in Marine Management? An Evaluation of Marine Citizenship in the UK
School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB, Dorset, UK
Traditionally, governance of the marine1 environment has been a state driven, topdown approach. Recently, however, management has been in a transitional period, moving towards a more participatory, bottom up regime. Future management of the marine environment must take the ever increasing, diverse range of factors effecting the marine environment into consideration (Skourtas et al, 2005). The role of a flexible, adaptive approach allowing for changing social values, environmental requirements and sustainable development has already been recognised (Defra, 2006). Further to this, is the increasing acknowledgement of community involvement in management of UK marine resources (Defra, 2006). The founding rationale of this study is the suggestion that with a greater level of public involvement and responsibility, marine management could be developed at a more sustainable, longterm level. It is proposed that it will ensure successful management and protection of valuable marine and coastal ecosystems and resources, whilst prompting economic and social development and stability. Despite widespread recognition of the role of communities in marine management, currently there are no guidelines regarding promotion of public involvement. This research highlights the recognition amongst marine practitioners that higher levels of citizen involvement in the management of the marine environment would greatly benefit the marine environment, with additional benefits possible through an increased sense of marine citizenship.
Key words: Marine Citizenship / environmental education / responsibility / marine management / public engagement
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011