MSEP project and partners

15 July 2012

Marine photo

The Marine Socio-Economics Project (MSEP) is a project funded by The Tubney Charitable Trust and coordinated by NEF in partnership with the WWF, MCS, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts.

The project aims to build socio-economic capacity and cooperation between NGOs and aid their engagement with all sectors using the marine environment.
In so doing, the project aims to increase socio-economic literacy and confidence of NGO staff to assist their ability to influence conservation policy and changes in fisheries management such that they have a solid socio-economic understanding of marine environmental issues at their core.

Background and shared vision The Tubney Charitable Trust have provided legacy funding for a project coordinated by NEF to enhance and build the capacity of marine NGOs to use socio-economic knowledge, tools and information to deliver biodiversity conservation objectives within the marine environment.

This project aims to build cooperation between NGOs, enhance the ability to work with the fishing industry and other maritime industries and have a positive impact on the long term management and recovery of the marine environment, both in terms of marine habitats and fisheries.
Working together and using socio-economic tools and assessment methods will strengthen the ability of the marine NGOs to influence and facilitate long-term sustainable change, in both policy and practice, regarding marine industries, such as fisheries.

Economic activities within the marine environment, which include; aggregate extraction, oil and gas exploitation, marine renewables, ports and shipping, fisheries, aquaculture and others such as recreation, can pose a significant threat to marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. These activities also represent a total GDP value of £46 billion to the UK economy and 890,000 jobs (in 2005-06 for example).

The socio-economic drivers behind marine activities and industries are therefore a key consideration by the UK Government and Private Sector, when it comes to marine planning. Understanding the key socio-economic drivers behind key industries is fundamental to better industry engagement and the ability of NGOs to influence decision-makers and industry stakeholders alike.

To date the NGOs have been more able to relate to the environmental debate but many of the decisions by policy makers and the users of the marine environment are based more on the social and economic considerations.

The shared vision for the MSEP is for enhanced individual and group capacity to access, understand and integrate social and economic considerations within policies, working practise and campaigns.


[1] Crown Estate, "Socio-economic indicators of marine-related activities in the UK economy", D. Pugh, 2008.

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