We humans interact with the ocean every day and most of the time we are not aware of it. We depend on the oceans: they are the source of our food and energy, they produce our oxygen, regulate the climate and transport our goods around the world.

But how much do we know about how our daily decisions affect the state of marine ecosystems?

The seas are endangered: plastic was reported to be found even in remote areas, through

ballast introduced invasive species are changing the balance of marine ecosystems, and tremendous nutrient flows from agriculture to the seas create zones where oxygen-dependent life is no longer possible. These topics are communicated in the public, and yet usually only a part of the complex relationships between humans and the oceans are highlighted.

The project ResponSEAble assessed the question of how much we know about our interactions with the oceans, and how closely we feel connected and responsible for their protection. It has assembled a team of 15 partners from knowledge institutions, consulting companies, associations of marine biology and environmental policy, IT and art, and has looked at the public communication of 6 topics under particular scrutiny: 1) eutrophication and agriculture, (2) invasive species and ballast water, (3) sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, (4) microplastics and cosmetics, (5) coastal tourism and (6) marine renewable energy.

ResponSEAble has identified the knowledge and communication gaps within these topics and then developed a variety of educational materials and formats. These are intended to close gaps, but above all to draw attention to the wonders and boundaries of the oceans and to remind us of our responsibility to protect the unique habitats of the seas.

Project details

  • Project name: ResponSEAble
  • Project management: ACTeon environment (France)
  • BEF sector: Water management and marine conservation
  • Funded by: Horizont 2020
  • Operational time: 04/2015 – 04/2019
  • Partners: 18 Partners
  • Project website:

Participating countries

France, Germany, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, England, Greece

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