MARISK focuses on the governance of maritime, fisheries and marine environmental problems and risks and related communication in the Baltic and Arctic seas from the perspective of sustainable development. Our research aims to understand the social dimension of complex environmental problems. For this, we use social scientific methods and participate in interdisciplinary approaches. We are part of the research network of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre and work in close collaboration with the natural scientists of the Fisheries and Environmental Management Group (FEM).
We explore fisheries management from the perspective of fishers and other stakeholders, addressing factors that influence the success of management in terms of e.g. fishers’ commitment to management decisions. We also analyse the governance frameworks in which management takes place, focusing e.g. on factors that influence the effectiveness and legitimacy of decisions. Recently, we have explored 1) how socio-cultural values shape the conditions for and are included in fisheries governance and management, and 2) the role of fisheries and their governance in sustainable food system transformations.
In vulnerable sea areas with busy maritime traffic, improving safety by regional proactive approaches is sometimes needed to minimize accident risks. We approach such challenges by analysing the governance and management of shipping risks. For example, oil spill risks are characterized by high uncertainties and ambiguity, i.e. differing understandings and perceptions of risks and societal values. We analyse how uncertainty and ambiguity can be accounted for in models and in decision-making processes, and what kind of governance arrangements can encourage deliberation and dialogue around competing goals, facilitate collaboration and co-production of knowledge, and promote social learning in innovative ways. We contribute to interdisciplinary risk and decision analyses by focusing on human and social aspects. We are also interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the potential ways that stakeholders can promote it in shipping.