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The fisherly imagination: the promise of geographical approaches to marine management

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2015
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)147-167
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/06/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The management of the sea has increased exponentially in the last half-century, and different academic disciplines have been vital in shaping this management. Human geography, despite its explicit focus on the human–environment nexus, has so far had little impact on human relations with the sea. Based on empirical research conducted in England and Scotland, we argue that human geography is uniquely placed to offer effective solutions to marine resource management problems, and that geographers have the potential to offer key insights into how human populations can best interact with the living seas. Three of the most important current scholarly ‘imaginations’ of the sea, and the policies they inform (economics and market-based management, conservation biology and area based protection, and anthropology and community management), are outlined. A potential ‘geographical imagination’ of the sea, drawing on key themes in contemporary scholarship is then presented, and grounded in empirical research. It is argued that human–ocean relations should be a key feature of geographical research agendas.