Individual responsibility for the oceans? An evaluation of marine citizenship by UK marine practitioners

Emma McKinley*, Stephen Fletcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent times, the governance of the marine environment has evolved from being primarily top down and state directed to being more participatory and community based. This paper proposes that an extension of this trend would be the inculcation of a societal sense of marine citizenship to deliver the sustainable management and protection of the marine environment through enhanced individual involvement in policy development and implementation. The potential role of marine citizenship in UK marine governance was examined by surveying UK marine practitioner's views on both the current and future role of marine citizenship. Observations from this study identified three key factors for discussion including conflicting opinions over the implementation of marine citizenship into policy; that marine-focused education and a sense of personal attachment are integral to the development of marine citizenship; and that as yet, the potential implications of an enhanced sense of marine citizenship are uncertain. This research highlights the recognition amongst marine practitioners that higher levels of citizen involvement in the management of the marine environment would greatly benefit the marine environment, with additional benefits possible through an increased sense of marine citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Issue number7
Early online date27 Apr 2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


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