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Task Force on Ocean Governance


The Taskforce on Oceans Governance seeks to address the daunting multi-level challenge of oceans governance in the Anthropocene. It brings together scholars from the global Earth System Governance network, with other researchers and practitioners to advance expertise and develop policy solutions in the marine area.

In-depth and frequently updated information on the Taskforce, including new publications and upcoming event, can be found on the Taskforce website.

In terms of scholarship, the Taskforce seeks to advance interdisciplinary understandings of the complex, multi-level relationships between social and ecological aspects of marine systems, as well as linkages to atmospheric and terrestrial processes. On the side of praxis, it aims to develop oceans governance institutions that provide flexibility, transparency, legitimacy, and social justice, as well as sustainability.

The Oceans Taskforce will serve as platform in the Earth System Governance Project for oceans related research and will be actively cooperating with other research activities, as well as scientific and policy institutions, and ongoing policy processes related to the Oceans.

Research within the network is divided into twenty research clusters, which span the breadth of ocean governance issues. These are, in alphabetical order:

  1. Aquaculture
  2. Biodiversity (incl. beyond national jurisdiction)
  3. Blue economy
  4. Climate change
  5. Coastal communities
  6. Conflict & diplomacy
  7. Energy
  8. Fisheries
  9. Marine mining
  10. Ocean law
  11. Polar oceans
  12. Pollution (incl. plastics)
  13. Recreation & Tourism
  14. Science & uncertainty
  15. Shipping
  16. Space & ecosystem based management (incl. MPAs)
  17. Sustainable development goals
  18. Teaching & mentorship
  19. Trade & globalization


  1. Theory (based on the ESG Science Plan)

The Oceans Governance Taskforce is led by:

  • DG Webster, Dartmouth
  • Leandra Gonçalves, University of Campinas
  • Judith van Leeuwen, Wageningen University
  • Atsushi Ishii, Tohoku University
  • Candace May, South Dakota State University


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