Broadening the perspective on ocean privatizations: an interdisciplinary social science enquiry

Type Article
Date 2020-09
Language English
Author(s) Schlüter Achim1, 2, Bavinck Maarten3, 4, Hadjimichael Maria5, Partelow Stefan1, Said Alicia6, Ertör Irmak7
Affiliation(s) 1 : Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen, Germany
2 : Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
3 : Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam
4 : UiT Arctic University of Norway
5 : University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
6 : AMURE- IFREMER - Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (IUEM), Brest, France
7 : the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
Source Ecology And Society (1708-3087) (Resilience Alliance, Inc.), 2020-09 , Vol. 25 , N. 3 , P. 20 (12p.)
DOI 10.5751/ES-11772-250320
WOS© Times Cited 10
Keyword(s) ocean, privatization, property rights, sustainability

Privatization of the ocean, in the sense of defining more exclusive property rights, is taking place in increasingly diverse ways. Because of more intensive and diversified use patterns and increasing sustainability challenges, it is likely that this process will continue into the future. We argue that the nature of privatization varies from one oceanic domain to another. We differentiate four ideal-typical domains: (1) resources, (2) space, (3) governance control, and (4) knowledge, and nine criteria for the assessment of privatization. We apply those criteria to a selection of examples from the realm of marine life (from micro-organisms to fish) to highlight similarities and differences and establish foundations for broader analysis. We aim hereby to develop the groundwork for a balanced, interdisciplinary perspective on ocean privatization. Our analysis demonstrates that privatization has multiple dimensions and cannot be condemned or embraced in its entirety. Instead it requires more nuanced assessment and deliberation.

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