Human relationships with the ocean are informed by diverse worldviews, values and knowledge systems. A truly holistic appreciation of the sea is crucial to ensure that people and planet flourish. Yet, our inherent emotional bonds with the ocean are often overlooked in conventional approaches to marine science and management. As international development agendas focus upon social, environmental and economic metrics to determine progress and growth, the valuable contributions of visual, material and intangible cultural heritage are largely discounted in dialogue concerning ocean governance.
Our collaborative research programme advocates that art, in all its forms, is a powerful vehicle to elevate the views of marginalised groups who are largely underrepresented in global debates about the future of the ocean. Creative practices are a means of communicating multiple conceptions of the sea and conveying strategies of resilience to broad audiences including policy and decision makers. We work with artists, cultural practitioners, knowledge holders and civil society to promote the intersections between heritage, sustainable development and ocean stewardship. To this end, we support community based art projects and artist residencies that provide insight into heterogeneous knowledge, customs and practices related to the sea.