A Code of Conduct for Marine Conservation

Nathan Bennett
Harvesting activities by both genders, such as these women gleaners, need to be considered in marine conservation. Women’s fishing and gleaning activities often make an important contribution to household incomes and food security.

A group of practitioners and researchers, led by SMEA Research Associate Nathan Bennett with support from SMEA Affiliate Assistant Professor Yoshitaka Ota and Professor Patrick Christie, has called for a marine conservation code of conduct. The recommendations were published May 15 in the journal Marine Policy. The authors of the paper cite a number of social justice, accountability and decision-making principles that could be used for a marine conservation code of conduct. These include issues such as indigenous rights, food and livelihood security, inclusivity and transparency. “We are trying to suggest a way forward and ultimately to increase the success of conservation” said Bennett in a UW Today article. Professor Christie, who was also featured in the article stated “The practice of marine conservation always involves trade-offs. This analysis makes it clear that society’s most vulnerable cannot be expected to carry the main burdens of conservation. Without taking into careful consideration the principles of this analysis, conservation will likely fail in the long term and have unintended negative impacts on society and environments.”