The Jurmala Dialogue – Building Ocean Literacy


Building Ocean Literacy – The ResponSEAble way

Connecting people to the ocean

Jurmala, Latvia

April 5 – 6, 2017

The Jurmala Dialogue is an interactive workshop that will bring together people with knowledge about the oceans from a number of spheres to help us answer the three basic questions – and fill knowledge gaps.

We’re looking for contributions from those who

  1. Work actively with those stakeholders that are depending on the sea and marine ecosystems for their living
  2. Have an economic interest in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems through technology development, innovation, supply to industry, etc.
  3. Implement policies, strategies and projects to protect marine ecosystems or promote sustainable practices to reduce pollution, protect marine species, halt the destruction of marine habitats, etc.
  4. Develop education and other literacy activities to raise awareness about the importance of our oceans to society and promote sustainable practices to ensure healthy marine ecosystems
  5. Broadcast about the ocean at any media channel or utilise and visualise knowledge on the ocean for communication and professional, even artistic expression.

Why the Jurmala Dialogue is important

We want your feedback on our approach to knowledge, actors in the value chain and perception of the knowledge. We also need you to share your experience and knowledge on ocean literacy. This mutual experience exchange will contribute to EU debates on how to make literacy more effective so it supports positive changes in behaviour and contributes to sustainable production and consumption of goods, services and knowledge that benefit the ocean.

During the workshop you will have access to the experience and views of professionals, stakeholders and policy makers from the marine, socio-economic, literacy and communication communities. Based on your knowledge and experience, you can help identify ways to expand Europeans’ understanding of why the oceans are important.

What will be discussed

  1. 1-the current state of our seas and identify activities putting pressure on, and/or benefiting from, marine ecosystems;
  2. 2-the organization of “value chains” of consumer, retailer or industrial activities that put pressure on marine ecosystems – and the opportunities that might exist within them to do things differently;
  3. 3-building ocean literacy through communications, awareness raising and other initiatives about the oceans for different audiences; and
  4. 4-looking at “blue growth”, what it means and how it might be managed sustainably.

Introduce the ocean literacy at SETAC Rome



During the next European SETAC Conference, which will be held in Rome, from 13th to 17th May, a special session, entitled “Towards a shared understanding of science and risk communication in the context of the inevitability of chemicals and the hazard they may represent”, has been organized by Annegaaike Leopold (Calidris Environment), Thomas-Benjamin Seiler (RWTH Aachen) and Charmaine Ajao (ECHA).

As past year SETAC Environmental Education awardee, they invited Angel Borja (AZTI) to participate in the session, with a presentation on “Ocean Literacy: changing attitudes and behaviour of society in the face of the problems of the oceans”. In this contribution, the H2020 project ResponSEAble , will be presented, trying to raise awareness around six key-stories (fishing, eutrophication, renewable energies, coastal tourism, microplastics, and ballast waters), within the four European regional seas. Under the DAPSIWRM framework (Drivers, Activities, Pressures, State, Impact, Wellbeing, Responses, Measures) Angel will explain the products developed to change attitudes and behaviour of different actors related to each story, but also to the society at large, from children to adults, trying to test the changes in those attitudes.
The products include videos, cartoons, serious games, interactive tools, specialized courses, etc. Our aim is that if scientists and society have a shared understanding of science and risk communication regarding the problems of the oceans, these can be solved through the individual and collective changes in our attitudes towards the oceans in our daily lives.

ResponSEAble Summer Photo winner


The ResponSEAble Photo contest was launched this summer to raise awareness and responsibility about our sea and oceans. To take part in the competition one had to express on social network “How we can all protect the sea today” and share a photo with a hashtag #responseable.
We have received a lot of photos and would like to thank all of you who took part in the contest and were thinking ‘responSEAble’ with us this summer!

After tough selection process by the jury  board we are happy to announce the winner of the ResponSEAble Summer Photo Contest – Maria Costanza Candi – an Italian journalist who lives in Turin.


Winner of the ResponSEAble contest – Maria Costanza Candi
Photo credit: Augusta Giovanolli



The jury would also like to acknowledge photos of Margherita Burchi and Tiago Garcia for receiving the second highest number of votes. Congratulations!

Maria receives ResponSEAble prize – BUREO sunglasses ( made out of recycled fishing nets (discarded fishing nets account for 10% of the plastic pollution in the ocean).








Our partners from CSP Eleonora Panto and Augusta Giovannoli had the opportunity to meet the winner to give her the prize and ask what the participation in our contest meant for her:

Question: Why did you participate?

Answer: As we are great sea lovers, it was so fun to engage in this kind of family contest focused on #responseable call. We spent more than 1 month in different areas of a beautiful Italian island Sardinia, with so many different landscapes to enjoy and photograph.

Q: Why/how did you take this winning picture?

A: We were close to Arbatax, a small village in the south eastern part of Sardinia, while we saw this beautiful old tower with an iron ladder we had to climb. While on the top, the view was so great with its 360 perspective, that my 7 years old son was impressed, starting to ask about everything he was looking at, from this very unique perspective. As #responseable was in my mind, I thought it would have been nice to see all that beauty from a kid’s viewpoint. And so, I took a picture!

Q: What do you think about ResponSEAble, what would you like your kid to know about the sea?

A: My kid never saw the Ocean before now, but as the Mediterranean Sea is so full of plastic and microplastic and so empty of fish and life we are used to talk about it. For instance we talk about the reasons why when snorkeling we don’t see animals, but plastic, even in very clean and pollution free areas. I would like to see a special project in schools explaining that everything is related, from what we consume everyday up to what you eat because pollution is definitely a crucial topic for their generation as it should be for our generation as well.

Q: What about your prize? Do you like it?

A: I find these sunglasses super-cool! They are so trendy both design and environmental responsibility content. Almost zero emissions! Thank you very much for that!


priceThe Photo Contest had good participation, with a lot of expressive and very beautiful photos and it was not easy for the jury to choose just one picture…

The message that the project wanted to spread was very well understood by the participants who, through the immediacy of the images stressed not only the beauty but the problems faced by our seas today.

Many thanks to all who participated in animating social media with this important hashtag – #responseable: we hope to launch soon a new competition – this time a Winter one !

Summer 2016 photo contest


Enjoying your summer time on a seaside?
Great! If you love the seas and the oceans, share your emotions with a hashtag #responseable, your photo and your tagline about “How we can  all protect the sea today”.
At the end of the summer, the best tagline and photo will be voted on,  and you can win Bureo sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets.
Most importantly, your ideas will reach ResponSEAble people.
Be creative, stay cool! We wish you fun and ResponSEAble summer!



Color, Black and White, edited formats are accepted.
Applicants should like ResponSEAble Official Facebook, twitter or Instagram Page.
Applicants may submit unlimited number of photos!
When you submit your photograph, you give us the right to publish your photograph with your credit.


The Contest is Open to EVERYONE whichever the sea you love!
Applicants must be the creator and sole owner of the photographs


The Winner will be selected by vote last week of September and win this amazing sun glasses made of recycled fish nets! So you can be cool and responSEAble at a same time.

Responseable Sails in the Mediterranean!

Our ResponSEAble journey that started in Plymouth a year ago made a stop over in Athens this May.

Responseable-athens-may-2016Thanks to our partners in Greece, Maggie Kossida & George Karavakiros from SEVEN,  we experienced the Mediterranean flavors and had 3 days meeting close to the seaside. Some of our Ocean Literacy Think Tank members joined us there: Paul Snelgrove (Memorial University), Linwood Pendelton (Duke University), Marta Ruiz (HELCOM), Ingo Sartorius (Plastic Europe), Gail Scowford (COSEE) and  Francesca Santorio (UNESCO).

The meeting helped us to progress with the development of our so-called “key storylines” (building on the example of a first key storyline on microplastics) that combine our expertise in marine ecosystems, marine and maritime activities, value chain and knowledge systems and perceptions.

We discussed also the launching of: (1) stakeholder processes for addressing ocean literacy at the regional sea scale (first regional workshops expected in the second semester of 2016); and (2) the development of our ocean literacy initiatives/products building on the “living lab” approach. And Athens provided opportunities to work with our SEAChange colleagues on issues such as transatlantic cooperation, the knowledge that ocean literacy should build on, and possible approaches to assess the effectiveness of ocean literacy initiatives.

Ahead of us? A challenging summer 2016 with much information collection, interviews, focus groups…!

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ResponSEAble is celebrating World Ocean Day

ResponSEAble is celebrating World Ocean Day today!


To celebrate the WOD 2016, ResponSEAble is launching six key storylines that will be further developed over the next 3 years with the goal of enhancing literacy around these topics in the EU and regional seas.

  1. Sustainable fisheries
  2. Ballast water/invasive species
  3. Eutrophication and agriculture
  4. Microplastics and cosmetics
  5. Local coastal development and tourism
  6. Marine renewable energy

On the 8th of June we are holding a virtual conference meeting of key story leaders  to discuss the issues around these storylines and to launch the process. There will also be additional meetings in several offices of ResponSEAable partners to launch work on specific storylines.

ResponSEAble at Micro 2016 in Lanzarote


The ResponSEAble journey stopped over in Lanzarote (Spain, Canary Islands) to learn from, and contribute to, Micro 2016 – a scientific conference that discussed the fate and impacts of microplastics in marine ecosystems. The contribution of ResponSEAble took the form of a side event organized by ACTeon (more information, to contact:Florence Krowicki) that addressed the following issues:

  • How important are microplastics for each of us – and around us?
  • Who is connected – directly and indirectly – to microplastics, and to the search for solutions that can reduce microplastics to the sea?
  • How can I adapt my own activities and professional practices so as to reduce the release of microplastics to the sea?
  • Addressing the “microplastics & sea” challenges: can we define priority(ies) (who, where, what, how)?

Contributions from participants (be it during the side event or via a questionnaire distributed during the conference) stressed the interest in these issues, and the range of practical and operational answers that do already exist. How best to combine bottom-up and top-down approaches for ensuring a collective “change of practice”, and preconditions  for making changes possible and effectives, are questions to be further investigated.

Thanks to the Micro 2016 organisers for supporting ResponSEAble in the organization of this side event!

2nd Annual partners meeting in Athens


From May 10th to May 13th, all partners meet in Athens for the 2nd Annual Partners Meeting of ResponSEAble. This event is organized back-to-back with the annual meeting of our sister EU-funded project SeaChange.

The meeting will investigate the key principles of effective Ocean Literacy (OL),  (a) reviewing progress with project activities and (b) investigating during interactive workshops the way individual Work Packages (WPs) can jointly contribute to so-called “ResponSEAble stories” (a combination of ecosystem challenges and socio-economic developments seen as key to the future of our European seas). It will also provide the opportunity for the launching of ResponSEAble’s Ocean Literacy Think Tank (OLTT), a group of high-level experts and stakeholders that will guide us in contributing cost-effectively to Ocean Literacy in Europe. Finally, the meeting will pave the way for activities to be implemented in 2016-2017.

Common SeaChange & ResponSEAble workshops will be organized during this Athens week. These will discuss: knowledge for OL; assessing the effectiveness of OL; and, opportunities for transatlantic initiatives on OL.

European Maritime Day in Turku


ResponSEAble will be represented at the European Maritime Day in Turku, Finland, 18-19 May by the team of Baltic Environmental Forum with an exhibition booth at the networking village and active participation in several workshops. We will discuss with the participants of the event about their understanding of Ocean Literacy, about value chains, knowledge and perception and introduce the ResponSEAble project.

Kon-Tiki 2 safely home

The Expedition consists of two balsa rafts that left Lima in Peru on Nov 7th, 2015, and arrived on Easter Island just before Christmas. On Jan 6th, 2016, the rafts started the demanding return voyage. During the expedition,  Kon-Tiki2 has done important scientific research on climate change, marine life, plastics, and pollution in the Pacific.

After 114 days at sea, in one of the strongest El Niño years recorded, the Kon-Tiki 2 decided to end the expedition in the South Pacific. Large sets of unique data on climate change and pollution will now be analyzed.