The Marine Social Science Research Unit is an inter and transdisciplinary team part of the Marine Conservation Research Group at the University of Plymouth. Our expertise lies in applying social science research methodologies to directly inform marine environment governance at international, regional, national and local scales. We are changemakers and impact-focussed, co creating and delivering robust social science research in partnership with statutory nature conservation agencies, sea users, NGOs, government departments and international organisations to support the sustainable and fair use of marine ecosystems.

Meet the team and affiliated staff, see our range of projects, publications and recent press events. Please contact Siân Rees or any of the team members if you have an enquiry.

Projects

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One Ocean Hub (2019-2023)

OOH research seeks to bridge current disconnections in law, science and policy and integrate governance frameworks to balance multiple ocean uses with conservation. NERC GCRF (NE/S008950/1)

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Fish INTEL (2021-2023)

Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) programme with the aim of enhancing the condition and quality of essential habitats, as well as enabling activities to function in a sustainable way. INTERREG Channel.

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SWEEP (2017-2022)

The South West Partnership for Environment & Economic Prosperity -developing natural capital assessment tools and approaches for integrated decision-making and environmental progress assessments. NERC NE/P011217/1.

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Green Minds (2019-2022)

Transforming Plymouth City Council’s management of green and blue resources and infrastructure for a vibrant and healthy city. To include baseline assessments of the UKs first National Marine Park. ERDF.

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DiadES (2018-2021)

Assessing and enhancing ecosystem services provided by diadromous fish in a climate change context (DiadES). INTERREG Atlantic Arc.

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RELIONMED (2017-2021)

Preventing a LIONfish invasion in the MEDiterranean through early response and targeted Removal. LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity 2016. LIFE16 NAT/CY/000832.

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Previous projects

A Natural Capital Plan for North Devon (2018-2020)

A Natural Capital Plan for the North Devon Marine Pioneer. EMFF.

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SCILL-E Site Classification to Inform Sustainable Lives and Livelihoods for Fisheries and Ecosystems (2019-2020)

Site Classification to Inform Sustainable Lives and Livelihoods for Fisheries and Ecosystems. EMFF.

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The development of an ecosystem service assessment as a component of the WWF led UK SEAS programme sustainable finance work stream (2017-2019)

The development of an ecosystem service assessment as a component of the WWF led UK SEAS programme sustainable finance work stream. (2017-2019). WWF- UK.

Feasibility study for a Marine Natural Capital Asset Index for Scotland (2018-2019)

Feasibility study for a Marine Natural Capital Asset Index for Scotland. (2018-2019). Scottish Natural Heritage.

A geodatabase for the North Devon Marine Pioneer to support the development of a Natural Capital Decision Support Tool (2017-2019)

A geodatabase for the North Devon Marine Pioneer to support the development of a Natural Capital Decision Support Tool. (2017-2019). Natural England.

Natural Capital Approach to the Marine Environment to Aid Decision Making (2018-2018)

Natural Capital Approach to the Marine Environment to Aid Decision Making (2018-2018). Defra ME5155.

Marine Natural Capital Evidence and Options paper for Ascension Island Government (2018-2018)

Marine Natural Capital Evidence and Options paper for Ascension Island Government (2018-2018). JNCC.

An evaluation framework to determine the impact of the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area and the activities of the Lyme Bay Consultative Committee on ecosystem services and human wellbeing (2015-2016)

An evaluation framework to determine the impact of the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area and the activities of the Lyme Bay Consultative Committee on ecosystem services and human wellbeing. (2015-2016). Blue Marine Foundation.

Background document for the Convention on Biological Diversity on addressing qualitative elements of Target 11 on marine and coastal protected areas (2015-2016)

Background document for the Convention on Biological Diversity on addressing qualitative elements of Target 11 on marine and coastal protected areas. (2015-2016). Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative.

Assessment of the ecological coherence of the MPA network in the Celtic Seas (2015)

Assessment of the ecological coherence of the MPA network in the Celtic Seas. (2015). WWF.

PANACHE Protected Area Network across the Channel Ecosystem (2012-2015)

PANACHE Protected Area Network across the Channel Ecosystem. (2012-2015). EU INTERREG project Priority 4, Objective 2.

Lyme Bay socio-economic impacts of the closed areas (2008-2012)

Lyme Bay socio-economic impacts of the closed areas. (2008-2012). Defra.

The legal and ecological definition of 'site integrity' in the EU Habitats Directive and its application to UK Marine Planning (2012)

The legal and ecological definition of 'site integrity' in the EU Habitats Directive and its application to UK Marine Planning. (2012). Marine Conservation Society.