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The fisheries and aquaculture industries are increasingly and acutely aware of the need to garner societal support, but unsure of how to address poor societal support at its root, who needs to be involved to address the problem, and effective pathways to improving societal support. The objectives of this research are to: 1. Define societal support; 2. Identify determining factors (internal and external) affecting societal support; Identify means by which to detect, assess and monitor societal support; and 4. Identify successful engagement behaviours and interventions.

Increasing industrial resource efficiency in European mariculture - IDREEM (2012-2016)

The IDREEM project aimed to demonstrate the benefits of IMTA through pilot commercial-scale testing, field research and modelling. Interdisciplinary research examined the obstacles and risks to the use of IMTA systems and develop tools to overcome these constraints, whether they are economic, environmental, technical, social or regulatory.  I was the work package leader for the 'Social impacts' work package.

EU LIFE+ Celtic Sea Partnership - Policy Network Analysis and community engagement (2013)

This project used the Rapid Policy Network Analysis technique to identify the key pieces of policy and legislation used to implement the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the countries spanning the Celtic Sea: Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and France.  The method was also used to identify the key actors involved in the process to assist with community engagement across the locations.

From global ideals to local realities – the foundations of sustainability (2016-2019 )

The primary objective of ‘From global ideals to local realities – the foundations of sustainability’ is to develop robust indicators for the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability by mapping the vast web of standards and indicators for sustainability and study how these affect the aquaculture industry, and addressing the gaps and improvement possibilities.

This was a ground-breaking study into the Scottish aquaculture industry, particularly its production of salmon, a major Scottish export, undertaken in collaboration with Imani Development. The study cast new light on the industry’s significant contributions to local economic growth and social impacts, including supporting populations and incomes in remote rural areas and ‘fragile economic areas’.  Further, it demonstrated that downstream economic impacts for processors and distributors is considerable, and often under-recognised. 

Offshore power production and marine stakeholders: from understanding conflict to impact mitigation (2009-2012)

Little is known about the impact of marine renewable energy installations upon the marine environment and those who use it. Harnessing marine energy will involve the offshore siting of energy extraction devices and their associated infrastructure. This will alter the local environment and substantially modify use and access for a variety of marine stakeholders, potentially leading to conflict. Using the Ecosystem Approach (EA) as a conceptual framework, this thesis aimed to answer the question: What is the potential for conflict between the marine renewable energy industry and marine stakeholders, and how can this be mitigated? This study combined quantitative and qualitative social science research methods with ecosystem modeling.

Aquaculture Community Futures: North West Tasmania

This project aims to understand the regional development and well-being futures envisaged by residents of NW Tasmania and how marine industries can contribute to meeting these shared values.

Social Licence to Operate for Aquaculture

To understand the foundation for social license for aquaculture in Norway, we will investigate the characteristics of trust towards aquaculture activities and public regulation on a national (macro) level, distinguishing between society-industry-government, rural-urban, and centre-periphery dimensions. SoLic focuses on the context of Norwegian aquaculture but also includes smaller comparative cases in Australia and Iceland. A case study approach will be used to address the question: How does social license (or a lack of) play out in Tasmanian salmon aquaculture? A single-case study design will be used (to understand social license at the state level), but with multiple embedded units of analysis (i.e. cases at the local level). 

Tasmania's Marine Atlas

The Marine Atlas project, funded by the FRDC, will identify, compile, and standardise geographical datasets relevant to marine socio-ecological systems in Tasmanian waters. Informal consultations with data holders will help the research team ensure the Marine Atlas both captures all relevant information and is useful to stakeholders including industry, government, researchers, and other stakeholders.

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Seaweed Solutions for Sustainable Aquaculture

This project will develop a sustainable Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) model that supports commercial seaweed production. To do this, the research will i) define the seaweed culture proposition (identify species, growing techniques, and products) and ii) develop a regionally relevant IMTA partnership model that brings together salmon, shellfish, and seaweed producers to ensure economic, environmental and societal benefits. Blue Governance is responsible for WP3 of this project - developing optimal governance, social, economic, and environmental models for operation.

Regional Ecosystem-based Coastal Management

This project aims to address science-policy-management constraints that have hindered the development of an integrated marine ecosystem-based approach.  The focus is upon the management of 'sectoral interplay' - the conflicts and tensions which prevent ‘whole of government’ cooperation and political consensus among the conflicting user and interest groups

Victorian Statewide Assessment

The Victorian Statewide Assessment is being undertaken to determine marine planning areas and priorities for undertaking Marine Spatial Planning across Victoria. It will examine the spatial distribution of activities and uses, associated values, and current or future threats, and will build on the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) 2019 Assessment of the Values of Victoria’s Marine Environment.

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