What do fisheries and ‘blue’ carbon have in common? An international management and governance framework of ‘blue’ common pool resources.

CASE award with Cefas (LUISETTI_UENV19ARIES)

What do fisheries and ‘blue’ carbon have in common? An international management and governance framework of ‘blue’ common pool resources.

CASE award with Cefas (LUISETTI_UENV19ARIES)

Project Description


Dr Tiziana Luisetti (UEA Environmental Sciences and Cefas)

Dr Irene Lorenzoni (UEA)

Scientific background

The marine environment provides a range of common pool resources, including fisheries and ‘blue’ carbon. Whilst fish biophysical functioning is well understood, and fisheries management and governance well established, there are still knowledge gaps on aspects of ‘blue’ carbon ecosystems, and limited research on their future governance. There are no international agreements safeguarding ‘blue’ carbon despite national and international interest (e.g. climate change mitigation; Natural Capital Accounts). The aim of this project is to understand and relate the governance and management of fisheries and ‘blue’ carbon, exploring aspects of uncertainty (in modelling, politics and policy), given the dynamic biophysical nature and the current conditions of geo-political uncertainty they both share. The objective is to devise a more systematic approach to common pool resources internationally managed.

Research methodology

The student will review existing work on fisheries functioning, governance and management practices, and on similar aspects related to ‘blue’ carbon, aiming to identify key biophysical and socio-economic factors affecting fisheries policy and management. This and subsequent phases of the research will be informed by consultation and discussion with relevant policy stakeholders. A suitable case study will be identified within either UK or non-UK waters. Drawing upon existing fisheries models, policy projections, and stakeholder and scientific expertise, the student will develop, test and analyse different plausible policy scenarios on fisheries management. These will be used to explore opportunities and challenges for the governance and management of existing and new ‘blue’ common pool resources.


ARIES DTP training (e.g. grand challenges, summer school, advanced workshops), training at UEA (in social science methods, and environmental economics) and by the CASE partner (Cefas) (e.g. modelling; natural capital accounting) will be made available to the student. The PhD candidate will acquire and /or strengthen their (a) understanding of interdisciplinary working, (b) modelling skills, (c) interviewing skills, (d) networking skills and interaction with relevant policy stakeholders.

Person specification

This project would suit a researcher with a passion for understanding governance issues, through close scrutiny of environmental management and politics, as well as an interest in applied sciences (e.g. quantitative modelling). Suitable backgrounds include both natural and social sciences (environmental science, economics, politics).


  • Luisetti, T., Andrews, J., Jackson, E., Palmieri, M.G., Sen, A., Paltriguera, L. (2015) Why value ‘blue carbon’? Chapter pp. 191-208 In: Turner R., Schaafsma M. (eds) Coastal Zones Ecosystem Services. Studies in Ecological Economics, vol 9. Springer, Cham, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17214-9_10
  • Thomas, S. (2014) Blue carbon: knowledge gaps, critical issues, and novel approaches. Ecological Economics, 107: 22-38.
  • O’Neill, S.J., Osborn, T.J., Hulme, M., Lorenzoni, I., Watkinson, A. (2008) Using expert knowledge to assess uncertainties in future polar bear populations under climate change. J of Applied Ecology, 45(6):1649-1659.
  • Hurić-Larsen, JF and Münch, A. (2016) Competition and Environmental Policy in the EU: Old Foes, New Friends? J Ind Compet Trade, 16:137–153.

Application open

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