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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.

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