Marine Resource Management and Development (MARA)

There is an increase in activities that take place in the same ocean space. Fisheries, oil and gas, and shipping have to share space with aquaculture, marine tourism, and renewable energy development. Alongside climate change, biodiversity degradation and other environmental concerns, the marine realm is in flux. In MARA, we study the implementation of marine resource and environmental management and its resulting impacts. We emphasize the interplay between policy, science, industry, and society. Our geographical scope extends outside of the borders of Norway, as challenges in marine resource management are global in character. Through our research, we develop insights into the complexities of marine resource management and aim to provide guidance for sustainable value-creation in the marine realm. Four central thematic areas are outlined below.

Ocean and coastal governance

Ocean and coastal governance are central research topics in MARA. Marine resource management is exercised through a complex multi-level system that includes a diversity of actors, arenas and instruments. In MARA we study the nature, development and performance of such complex governance arenas. This includes a focus on new governance approaches and instruments, such as ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning.

Growth and innovation in marine sectors

Several MARA projects deal with the development of key marine industries, such as fisheries, aquaculture, marine biotech, offshore oil and gas, shipping, and tourism. The projects look into the dynamics of the industries, their social, economic and environmental effects, and evolving use conflicts at the intersection of the various industrial activities.

Organization of the fisheries sector

MARA researchers have done extensive studies of the Norwegian fisheries sector since the early 1980s, providing articles and books on important organizations such as the Raw Fish Association, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association and the Ministry of Fisheries. Research on the organization of the fisheries sector also includes studies on co-management and institutional development.

The North-South dimension

MARA researchers have been involved in studies of the fisheries management systems in the global South. A central focus in these studies is to what extent modern (Western) management organizations and institutions can be “exported” to developing countries. We are also involved in studies of the importance of small-scale fisheries in developing countries and how small-scale fisheries and local governance are affected by changes A relatively new area of research is into judicial systems in a number of developing countries and how they interact.