Photo: Therese Rist

In a project led by the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic, pivotal Norwegian marine industries will try to envision future coexistence at sea.

Today marked the official inauguration of the project. It will chart current coexistence among marine industries, present realistic future scenarios, and offer advice on how to achieve better coexistence and synergies. The project also hopes to achieve a unified understanding of the sustainability concept, which can support fruitful coexistence.

– Activity levels are increasing, especially in the coastal zone, and it’s important to find ways to agree on how areas should be used. We believe in finding synergies and win–win situations where we now see potential conflicts. However, this requires cooperation, and we are therefore delighted that the industries themselves are getting involved in the project, says Centre Director Jan-Gunnar Winther.

Participants include Equinor, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the Norwegian Seafood Federation, the Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organization and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association. These players are on the Centre’s advisory council, and will contribute project financing.

Menon Economics and SINTEF Ocean have been commissioned to carry out the project. Over the coming year, they will write three reports on behalf of the Centre.

– Ensuring sustainability and coexistence is crucial to maintaining value creation in marine industries. These enterprises invest in research and innovation to meet the challenges of the future, simultaneously taking pains to conserve natural diversity, use marine resources better, and create value for society, says Caroline Wang Gierløff, partner at Menon Economics.

As part of the project kick-off, the Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic organized the workshop “Coexistence from out of the blue?” with participants from business, academia, and government.

– The workshop attracted nearly 50 attendees from 24 different organizations. The issues the project addresses generate a lot of enthusiasm. The marine industries clearly take them seriously and recognize the value of coexistence. The input we received today will be important as we move forward, says Winther.