Oceans and coastal areas provide two broad categories of resources, which sometimes serve several purposes at the same time (food, transport, etc.). Firstly, there are those resources present in an area (whether they are living or otherwise, renewable or exhaustible); then there is the space itself as an element of production (position, surface area, etc.).

These resources can be exploited to various ends (fishing, aquaculture, maritime transport, tourism, marine energy, telecommunications cables, oil and gas, sand and aggregates, etc.) some of which are consistent with the “Blue Growth” initiative. At interfaces between nature and society, the use of resources reveals the challenges to sustainability in terms of location, time period or scale of impact.  Articles in this section examine all the issues involved in the sustainable development of maritime and coastal resources.

Questions can be approached from various angles including: the resources themselves (dynamics, locations, etc.), how they are managed (institutions, laws, etc.), the communities who live off these resources or who live in coastal locations (culture, identity, etc.), possible conflicts and crises, and the legal questions arising from sharing and regulating resources.

Analysing these issues through the use of maps and geo-visualisation also opens up potential for a range of temporal and spatial perspectives, from the space occupied by a small, coastal island community to that taken by a major maritime transport company; or from the very short stopover time of a visiting cruise ship to the longer time period over which climate change affects the distribution patterns of fish species.


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