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Integrating natural and social sciences to manage sustainably vectors of change in the marine environment: Dogger Bank transnational case study

Burdon, Daryl; Boyes, Suzanne J.; Elliott, Michael; Smyth, Katie; Atkins, Jonathan P.; Barnes, Richard A.; Wurzel, Rüdiger K.


Daryl Burdon

Suzanne J. Boyes

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Professor Mike Elliott
Emeritus Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

Katie Smyth

Richard A. Barnes

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Professor Rudi Wurzel
Professor of Comparative European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Studies.


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The management of marine resources is a complex process driven by the dynamics of the natural system and the influence of stakeholders including policy-makers. An integration of natural and social sciences research is required by policy-makers to better understand, and manage sustainably, natural changes and anthropogenic activities within particular marine systems. Given the uncertain development of activities in the marine environment, future scenarios assessments can be used to investigate whether marine policy measures are robust and sustainable. This paper develops an interdisciplinary framework, which incorporates future scenarios assessments, and identifies four main types of evaluation needed to integrate natural and social sciences research to support the integrated management of the marine environment: environmental policy and governance assessments; ecosystem services, indicators and valuation; modelling tools for management evaluations, and risk assessment and risk management. The importance of stakeholder engagement within each evaluation method is highlighted. The paper focuses on the transnational spatial marine management of the Dogger Bank, in the central North Sea, a site which is very important ecologically, economically and politically. Current management practices are reviewed, and research tools to support future management decisions are applied and discussed in relation to two main vectors of change affecting the Dogger Bank, namely commercial fisheries and offshore wind farm developments, and in relation to the need for nature conservation. The input of local knowledge through stakeholder engagement is highlighted as a necessary requirement to produce site-specific policy recommendations for the future management of the Dogger Bank. We present wider policy recommendations to integrate natural and social sciences in a global marine context.


Burdon, D., Boyes, S. J., Elliott, M., Smyth, K., Atkins, J. P., Barnes, R. A., & Wurzel, R. K. (2018). Integrating natural and social sciences to manage sustainably vectors of change in the marine environment: Dogger Bank transnational case study. Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, 201, 234-247.

Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 2, 2015
Publication Date Feb 5, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Estuarine, coastal and shelf science
Print ISSN 0272-7714
Electronic ISSN 1096-0015
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 201
Pages 234-247
Keywords Dogger Bank, Integrated marine management, Ecosystem services, Modelling tools, Future scenarios, Risk assessment
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Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of an article which has been accepted for future publication in: Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, 2015


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