Marine Futures

NIWA has joined with the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury and Cawthron Institute to form Marine Futures, a research programme funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

This two-year project (2012-2014) aims to provide solutions to the difficult challenges facing the management of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s coastal and marine ecosystems.

Have you considered the future of our marine ecosystems?

We face many challenges, often involving conflicts between different user groups, limited knowledge about how specific environments respond to change, and who will be the  winners and losers in the short- or long-term. How we cope with these issues today will affect how we benefit from the environment and its resources into the future.

We know that our climate, our population and need for resources is changing. No matter how we currently use and manage our coasts and oceans we must ensure that these environments retain their ability to adapt to change, because we depend on them for the goods and ecosystem services they provide, including fisheries,  amenities, tourism and cultural uses.

Innovative solutions for integrated marine management

The focus of the project is to trial new approaches which foster more inclusive decisions about how, when and where we want to benefit from our coasts and oceans. We aim to learn about how processes could be improved to include the aspirations of all users and how scientific knowledge can be most effectively put to work in environmental decision making.

The research seeks to enable all stakeholders to develop an agreed decision making framework that facilitates economic growth, improves marine stewardship and ensures that cumulative stresses placed on the environment do not degrade the ecosystem beyond its ecological adaptive capacity. We expect the processes trialled throughout this research programme will be applied by management agencies and other organisations to identify potential trade-offs and define bottom lines in situations with conflicting resource use.

This will inform more integrative management activities such as marine spatial planning and ecosystem based management by involving all users and collectively working towards solutions across multi-use marine ecosystems. The research has strong support from key partnerships including the Auckland and Waikato Regional Councils, the Ministry of Primary Industry, the Department of Conservation and the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

NIWA has joined with the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury and Cawthron Institute to form Marine Futures, a research programme funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. 

Page last updated: 
25 February 2019
Cawthron Institute
Marine Ecology Reserach Group
University of Auckland, Faculty of Science, School of Environment