Deepening offshore research capacity in South Africa

Last week, Hub researcher Kerry Sink (South Africa National Biodiversity Institute) and a team of marine scientists in South Africa embarked on a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary offshore expedition to enhance the capacity of young southern African scientists and to collect data in outer shelf and deep-sea habitats. The cruise is funded by the Hub.

Comparative reflections on customary laws of the coast and sea in Africa

The distinctive histories and legal trajectories of Ghana, Namibia and South Africa provide important reflections for understanding the current obstructions and opportunities surrounding the recognition and protection of the customary laws of Indigenous peoples and small-scale fishing communities along the coast and sea across diverse contexts in Africa. Hub researchers have identified the need for comparative reflections on the current status of customary laws in ocean governance, after having shared progress of research conducted to date and, most importantly, provided a space for cross-country learning while identifying synergies and opportunities for integration.

Other news...
  • Contributions to the UN General Comment on Children’s Rights and a Healthy Environment – READ HERE
  • Brainstorming on new UN guidance on economic, social and cultural rights and sustainable development – READ HERE
  • Suggesting new areas of work for IPBES – READ HERE
What do the Global Biodiversity Framework and other 2022 UN Biodiversity Summit outcomes mean for the ocean and ocean research? (Part 1)

The global biodiversity community adopted a new global framework to catalyse, enable and galvanise urgent and transformative action at all levels to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. In addition, the UN Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP 15, held on 7-19 December 2022 – Montreal, Canada) also adopted new decisions on marine biodiversity, as well as on digital sequence information, the biodiversity-human health nexus, and on gender that are relevant for the ocean. This blog post reflects on the implications of these recent international decisions for the ocean, ocean-dependent human rights and ocean research with a focus on the GBF.

Reflecting on women’s rights to a healthy ocean, based on the 2023 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment

“Urgent, gender-transformative, rights-based climate and environmental action” is required to achieve gender equality and ecological sustainability– recently said the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment in his thematic report on women’s and girls’ human right to a healthy environment (A/HRC/52/33).

Following on the Hub’s submission made in preparation for this report, this blog post relates the UN Special Rapporteur’s findings on State obligations and business responsibility to respect women’s and girls’ human rights to the marine context.

Other blog posts...
  • How can national human rights institutions and international human rights mechanisms support the protection of small-scale fishers’ human rights? – READ HERE
  • Reflecting on IMPAC5 and the need to prioritise Indigenous and community-led marine protection – READ HERE
Don’t miss:

Empatheatre play ‘Lalela uLwandle’ in Rome and ‘Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific’ exhibition in Glasgow

Lalela uLwandle (Listen to the Sea)

Empatheatre will perform ‘Lalela uLwandle (Listen to the Sea)’ play at the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome 31 March. The performance is part of the closing event of International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA). The performance will be followed with a facilitated public discussion with Hub researchers, performers, and the audience on the themes that emerge from the play.

Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific

The exhibition brings together the creative outputs of the Hub’s Deep Fund supported community-based art projects that surface human relationships and emotional connections with the ocean. Indigenous knowledge, practices and worldviews are showcased in diverse media, ranging from film and song to tapestry and wearable art, created by makers based in Ghana, South Africa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. The exhibition will be on show at The Glasgow School of Art’s Reid Gallery, 15 – 29 April 2023.

More upcoming events...
Water Defenders’ workshop

Hub researchers Taryn Pereira (Rhodes University) and Aphiwe Moshani (University of Cape Town) will feature in the session on “Defending the ocean at the kelp roots: Stories from Small scale fisher ocean defenders in South Africa”. Please register here.

Date: 14 March 2023, Time: 16:10 – 17:00 PHST & 08:10 – 09:00 GMT

Leibniz Association Symposium

Hub Director Elisa Morgera has been invited to deliver a presentation on “Connecting Research, Co-producing Knowledge through Fair Partnerships and Making Policy Impact: Experiences from the One Ocean Hub” at a symposium to be held in Berlin, Germany

Date: 17 March 2023

A reflection on the Global Biodiversity Framework

Hub Director Elisa Morgera has been invited to join a panel organized by Prof John Knox, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, on the 2022 Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Date: 13 March 2023

Water Ways: An International Conference on Human Relations with the Sea, Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha

The conference aims to advance discussion on the role of human society and culture in protecting a healthy ocean. The Conference is hosted by Hub researcher Professor Rose Boswell, SARCHI Chair in Ocean Cultures and Heritage at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. For more information about the call for abstracts and the conference see here.

Location: Sea, Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha, South Africa.

Dates: 22 – 23 Septmber 2023

Hub research on deep-sea corals highlighted in a film released by The Economist

In February, The Economist launched a film titled ‘Climate change: what is ocean acidification?’. The research conducted by Hub researchers Prof Murray Roberts, Dr Sebastian Hennige, and early-career researchers Kristina Beck, and Kelsey Archer Barnhill (University of Edinburgh, UK) on deep-sea coral is reported in the video (from 6 minutes on).

'One ocean: the power of storytelling at COP27' by Dr Dylan McGarry

To celebrate eight years of BEIS international programmes Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) asked researchers and innovators to tell about the journeys they’ve made and reflect on the many benefits and challenges of doing ‘science beyond borders. Hub researcher Dylan McGarry was asked to write about the experience of taking Empatheatre play Lalela uLwandle (Listen to the Sea) to COP27.


Smoothed particle hydrodynamics for modelling cold-water coral habitats in changing oceans By Georgoulas K, Hennige S, Lee YC (2023). Published in the Journal of Sea Research.


Designing transdisciplinarity for transformative ocean governance By Hills JM and Maharaj PN (2023). Published in Frontiers in Marine Science.


A two-way process – Social capacity as a driver and outcome of equitable marine spatial planning By Jacob C, Diederichsen SP, Fullbrook L, Lombard AT, Rees SE, Rivers N, Snow B, Strand M, Zuercher R, Niner HJ (2023). Published in Marine Policy.