Oceans Past Initiative
News: Common Objections Questionnaire
During the emergence and growth of the disciplines of historical marine ecology and marine environmental history over the last two decades, you may have encountered various objections as to why the new approach is not required, is not relevant, or has not the required evidential foundation. OPI is embarking on a project to survey the wider research community involved in historical research in marine environments and ask what kind of objections you have encountered and which have been the greatest hurdles to undertaking your research activities or having your findings accepted by marine managers and policy makers. The survey is available here on the OPI website where you can down-load it, complete it and send it to the project team. The study team, led by Drs Alison MacDiarmid and Gesche Krause, will collate and describe the range of objections encountered, explore their validity, recommend robust rebuttal arguments where this is warranted, and provide some advice to marine managers and policy makers as to why historical research can provide information essential to the development of marine environmental policies. The results will be presented at the Oceans Past VII conference in Bremerhaven in October 2018, and published in the conference proceedings. Your participation is essential to the success of this study!
The Oceans Past Initiative (OPI) is a global research network for marine historical research. Our goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of how the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the world’s oceans has changed over the long term to better indicate future changes and possibilities. OPI welcomes anyone interested in the history of humankind’s interactions with life in the oceans including paleo-ecologists and climatologists, archaeologists, marine environmental historians, economic historians, oral historians, historical ecologists, fisheries historians, and marine environmental and fisheries policy makers and managers.
OPI is led by a Steering Committee headed by an Executive Board.
The network will commit itself to coordinate resources and provide useful information to the marine historical research community, such as by circulating news about grant calls and funding opportunities, information on recent papers in the field, announce successful projects, and distribute information for students on courses related to marine historical research.It is planned for OPI to become a venue where researchers worldwide interested in historical studies could virtually meet and discuss relevant issues globally. OPI can provide an umbrella, under which already completed, currently running, and also planned projects and initiatives can be linked, and make their results available for decision-makers and the interested public.
Every 2-3 years OPI organises an Oceans Past Conference where anyone interested in the history of humankind’s interactions with life in the oceans can meet in person to present and debate the implications of the latest research in marine environmental history and historical marine ecology. The next Oceans Past Conference is scheduled for 2017, Sesimbra, Portugal.
OPI has grown from the now concluded History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) which was a project within the Census of Marine Life Programme.
Historical research is playing an increasingly important role in marine sciences. Historical data are also used in policy making and marine resource management, and have helped to address the issue of shifting baselines for numerous species and ecosystems. Although many important research questions still remain unanswered, tremendous developments in conceptual and methodological approaches are expected to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the global history of human interactions with life in the seas. Based on our experiences and knowledge from the “History of Marine Animal Populations” project, the Oceans Past Initiative (OPI) has been established to assist in bringing together and connecting researchers interested in marine historical studies worldwide.
Every 2-3 years OPI organises an Oceans Past Conference where anyone interested in the history of humankind’s interactions with life in the oceans can meet in person to present and debate the implications of the latest research in marine environmental history and historical marine ecology. The next Oceans Past Conference is scheduled for 2018 in Bremerhaven, Germany.