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Marine & Coastal Conflict


In the early decades of the twenty-first century, there was rapid population growth and substantial technological advancement. From barbed poles or woven baskets to catch fish to large factory trawlers which cross oceans; the development of mariculture, from fossil fuels to harvesting of wave and tidal energy; and from recreational sailing to ecotourism and adventure expeditions to the poles.


There has also been a push to protect and preserve our oceans and coasts. We have seen human actions transform the marine environment through coastal erosion, loss of habitat, extinct and endangered species, and increases in foreign and invasive species. This has led to the development of new conservation tools such as marine protected areas (MPAs). 

At the same time, we have seen an increase in conflict and consternation in regards to marine and coastal natural resources.  Some think it is explained by NIMBY (not in my back yard)-ism. Others see it as a fight between marine and coastal users over space. I believe that the problem is much more complex; that there are many diverse interests at play in the ocean and coastal environment, and as such, there is a range of causes of conflict. In fact, I recently developed a new theory of marine and coastal conflict which is shown below. 

Figure 7.1.png

If you want to read more about this theory of marine and coastal conflict, check out my new book!

You can find it at all good bookstores, including:

"This book, by way of in depth analysis of multiple case studies across the world, offers fresh perspectives on the issue of conflict in coastal and marine areas. It reflects on the role of conflict, neatly brings together theory with examples of practice and presents a convincing rationale for why we need to engage with it to achieve management outcomes. Written in a very personal and engaging manner, the text immediately evokes the importance of the issues while retaining scholarly depth. This book will provide great insights into those interested in how to navigate the conflicts prevalent in our beautiful marine and coastal areas."


- Melissa Nursey-Bray, University of Adelaide, Australia

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