By Dr. L. van Hoof
Windmill parks, aquaculture, seaweed farms, oil &gas drilling, mining, tourism etc. It seems our salt water fields are changing from a hunter/gatherer stage to an agriculture/industrial one. How do all these upcoming activities change the view of our marine environment? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of our seas and oceans?
Feeding the world population by 2050 (and providing them with sustainable energy and jobs) is one of the main challenges of today. Blue growth (unlocking the potential of seas and oceans) can become an important component for securing global food and well-being. Especially in the light of the scarcity of fresh water a marine or blue revolution is needed. The marine environment surely offers a lot of opportunities, but the seas and oceans and the marine ecosystems are also under threat of unsustainable uses. Van Hoof looks at what will be the results if we continue to use our oceans the way we do today. Can we handle the impacts of increasing activities with the challenges of climate change and the growing world population?
About Luc van Hoof
Luc van Hoof (MSc fisheries and economics 1988, PhD Marine Governance 2010) has built up experience as a fisheries economist and management consultant during 15 years in various African countries. Since 2000 he has been involved in European and Dutch fisheries research, both as head of the Fisheries Research Group of the WUR Agricultural Economics Research Institute and as head of the Seafood and Aquaculture group of IMARES. He has been involved in several activities concerning Governance in Fisheries Management, both at the level of stakeholder involvement in the policy process as in scientific support to policy development. In addition he has been coordinating several European studies focusing on the possible developments of the European Fisheries Management System especially on rights based management systems.Currently his main task lies in developing a framework for integrated marine management, governance and marine spatial planning. He is employed by the Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES) in the Netherlands. He is working at the WUR Environmental Policy Group on Institutional change in Fisheries Management. Luc van Hoof is member of the board of MARE, Centre for Marine Research, and is Executive Secretary of EFARO, the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Organisation. As member of both EFARO, MARE, EAFE, the EU Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) and observer of the EU North Sea Regional Advisory Committee, he is well known among the stakeholders of the fisheries scientific, management and fisheries sector community.He has been part of and coordinated several EU funded research projects among which the FEUFAR (2008) and COFASP (2014) project which focussed on developing participatory scenarios to develop the research agenda for Europe to permit exploitation and farming of aquatic resources set against the context of key challenges and risks for meeting sustainability requirements. He also coordinated the MESMA project which developed tools for the monitoring and evaluation of Marine Spatial Plans.