Protecting the ocean: our collective responsibility, our common interest

Supporting the development of cost-effective ocean literacy in Europe


How can we encourage Europeans to take a closer interest in their oceans and to treat them with greater respect and understanding? That’s the over-riding objective of ResponSEAble, an ambitious, 15-partner project. Our project is funded by Horizon 2020, ResponSEAble is mapping European marine research and knowledge to further our understanding of complex human-ocean relationships and the economic benefits that we derive from our seas and the ecosystems they support.

The project is also working on a raft of exciting media and outreach activities including films and film making competitions, an educational computer game and other learning materials, a social media campaign and an interactive website. The project’s media outreach aims to connect with a wide range of audiences. By generating greater public debate and knowledge, ResponSEAble, intends to support all sectors of European society take a more informed and responsible attitude and help secure healthier and more sustainable oceans.

Key stories

One of the main objects of the ResponSEABle project, is increasing the understanding and awareness of how European citizens affect and benefit from the ocean. To do this, the project decided to focus on some key ocean issues – the ResponSEAble´s Key Stories.

It was essential that the Key Stories captured focus areas that could serve as strong examples of human and oceans connections, that they were relevant in a European context, and that they could be applied in the development of ocean literacy products. Therefor the project underwent a thorough process to decide on the Key Stories. The project evaluated the European Union´s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Descriptors, the EU Blue Growth Strategies as well as the relevant European Regional Seas Programmes to find potential Key Stories. After careful consideration, the ResponSEAble project decided on these six Key Stories (which can be found below).

They start with what we know about the current state of the oceans in relation to the specifics issues, how economic activities directly or indirectly connect to it, and our perceptions and understanding of this connection. By doing so, the Key Stories provide clear examples of the diffuse nature of pressures to coastal and marine ecosystems, the identification of actors important to the issues, and gaps in knowledge that need to be filled to advance the cause of ocean literacy. Three of the Key Stories represents pressure-based stories, while the other three represents the ResponSEAble Blue Growth Key Stories, which also touches upon an opportunity perspective.

Eutrophication and agriculture

Ballast water and invasive alien species

Sustainable Fisheries & aquaculture

Microplastics and cosmetics

Coastal Tourism

Marine Renewable Energy


  • EMSEA Conference 2018, Newcastle

    2 October 2018
  • SEATECH week

    8 October 2018
  • Aquacross – Final Conference

    10 October 2018
  • World Ocean Council, Hong Kong

    14 November 2018

Ocean literacy blog

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