Plenary Presentation Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference 2022

Connections over scales and disciplines to support transformation of marine socioecological systems (#2)

Gretta Pecl 1 2
  1. Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, SA, Australia
  2. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Over the years, the focus of my research has shifted from examining specific biological and ecological processes at various temporal and spatial scales, toward seeking a more integrated and interdisciplinary socio-ecological understanding of natural systems. The questions that inspire and drive me have also changed, becoming broader in nature and more human-focussed. My recent work has a focus on seeking to understand the impacts of climate change, how we can constructively respond to these changes, and on developing evidence-based approaches to communication and engagement with the public, marine industries and communities. Climate change poses a serious threat to marine ecosystems and the industries and human societies that depend on them. However, there is often a fundamental mismatch between the reality of what lies ahead and both the level of public or industry understanding and/or concern, and the committed actions required to adapt to the impacts of climate change. “The ocean we need for the future we want” requires scientists and decision-makers to identify how to facilitate the use of available science and encourage uptake of behaviours and implementation of policies—at individual, local and global scales—that will leverage greater environmental benefit. Ultimately, navigating pathways to sustainable global ocean use and conservation requires a diverse range of actors and stakeholders across a wide range of scales to work together towards a shared purpose. This process needs to be underpinned by mechanisms to support and strengthen society’s stewardship of, and connection to the oceans, and the co-creation of collective visions for our future oceans. This presentation will highlight some of the local, national and international projects and networks I have led or collaborated on with the aim to leverage interdisciplinary knowledge to improve society’s capacity to purposefully shape the direction of marine social-ecological systems over the course of the UN Oceans Decade.