Welcome to our website about marine protected areas and fish catchings in the European Union.
The goal of this project, which we conducted as part of the module 'GEO878 Geovisualization' at University of Zurich, was to create an interactive web-map embedded in a website along with background information about the project's topic and the team.
As an overarching topic, we chose a combination of the goals number 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- and number 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- from the United Nations' (U.N.) sustainable development goals (SDG), (United Nations, n.d. e).
With regard to climate change and the fact that the oceans function as a climate regulator, as an important storage of CO2 and as a huge reservoir for biodiversity, the protection of the oceans should have top priority (United Nations, n.d. d). This opinion is shared by the European Union (E.U.), which seems to have similar policies and guidelines regarding marine area protection and fishing. Due to feasibility reasons, we decided to only consider coastal member states of the E.U. as data related to both marine protection and fishery are easily accessible, comparable, and complete for E.U. member states.
As stated above, the importance of the protection of marine areas is increasingly growing with the climate and biodiversity problems we are facing nowadays. At the same time, we are aware that the oceans are creating livelihoods and that fishing is an important part of the economy for many countries having access to the sea. Therefore, a sustainable and balanced approach should be implemented to ensure the conservation of the oceans and the livelihood of people living from marine products at the same time. With the implemented web-map, we want to enable every user to answer the following research question:
How did the Natura 2000 marine protected areas and the amount of fish catchings develop over the last decade (2011-2019) in coastal countries of the E.U. and what can be observed from these trends regarding sustainability?
Our goal is that this website may ignite a reflection process in people and that the information found here is only the start of going deeper into the question of sustainability with regard to seas and oceans. We are aware that the data used here is not sufficient to illustrate the full scope of the topic but hope that it can be the beginning of a transition of thinking for some.