Governance and management
Careers in marine management and governance
Marine resources are extremely important to the economies of countries today, and they are the capital stock for future economic and political security. Economic analysis is used to identify the full range of threats to these unique ecosystems as well as to guide policy-makers toward potential opportunities for capturing greater benefit from their sustainable use.
Do you have a good understanding of mathematics and a head for business? But are you also passionate about caring for our environment? This could be the career for you! You will essentially be calculating a value in monetary terms for what the different parts of the environment provide for us. How much would it cost us if the sea did not mop up the extra CO2 for us? If plants did not filter the air for us, how much would we have to pay to get the clean air we need?
Environmental Economists are required to calculate the effects of environmental policies. Particular issues include the costs and benefits of alternative policies to deal with air pollution, water quality, toxic substances, solid waste, and global warming. This is a very specialised career and a good knowledge of marine biology and the marine environment is required to allow you to make these expert valuations. You will provide support for the big decision makers by allowing them to understand the ‘cost’ of damaging the marine environment, and balance that against any benefits gained from development. To get into this area, start off with either a degree in economics or a degree in marine biology. York University offers a specialist science degree in Environmental Economics.
In order to control marine use, laws must be developed to prevent damaging activities. There are many laws at local, national, UK, European and international levels, which must be complied with. Such a complex situation requires Environmental Legal specialists. Environmental Lawyers advise on many diverse aspects such as waste, pollution, health & safety, marine planning and licensing, nature conservation, fisheries and aquaculture. Sometimes this involves co-ordinating advice across a range European jurisdictions through overseas offices and law firms. Environmental lawyers often work for the Government and they may be involved in consultations or writing environmental manuals for different industry sectors. A lot of work is also "corporate support" where they advise on the environmental aspects of large transactions. For example making sure the correct permits are in place and negotiating where responsibility for environmental liabilities like marine pollution will fall. Environmental lawyers often find that Marine Biology training means they can speak the same language as their clients and understand the issues from a practical as well as legal perspective. Otherwise consider one of the range of law degrees being offered by universities. See also Maritime Law.
Working in Government
Many government organisations within the UK have responsibility for the marine environment, and they all need good scientists, who are also capable of understanding society’s demand of marine resource. (Defra) Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the main government department with responsibility for the environment, and their remit includes the seas around the UK. Their aim being “to secure a healthy environment in which we and future generations can prosper”.
Other organisations that will offer employment in this area include:
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
IMO's main task has been to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
<back to Oceans of Options