Beautiful aerial view of Nusa Penida Island and tropical beach

Advancing interdisciplinary knowledge for ocean sustainability

  • Catarina Frazão Santos
  • Tundi Agardy
  • U. Rashid Sumaila


  • This section will help you when preparing your manuscript for initial submission and resubmission to npj Ocean Sustainability.

  • Climate-smart Ocean

    We are currently seeking submissions for a multidisciplinary collection on marine spatial planning initiatives, a necessity to become climate-smart to be sustainable, equitable, relevant, and useful under a changing ocean.

    Open for submissions
  • Bridging Land and Seascape Restoration for Ecoscape Recovery

    We seek manuscripts that address different dimensions, issues, and solutions related to the restoration of multiple interconnected coastal habitats. We welcome invited original articles, perspective papers, and comments that represent diverse perspectives, geographies, and biomes.

    Open for submissions
  • Get to know the Editors-in-Chief, Dr. Catarina Frazão Santos and Professor Rashid Sumaila as they answer 3 questions about their research and experience and share their thoughts about becoming involved with the journal.


  • Recent calls for an International Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS) to provide consensus-based science advice for global ocean sustainability appeal to the successes of global science–policy platforms, specifically the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science–Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the World Ocean Assessment (WOA)1. A new IPOS may facilitate global ocean sustainability, but only if it proactively addresses the challenges facing existing international science–policy platforms—namely representation, accountability, and politicization.

    • Gerald G. Singh
    • Harriet Harden-Davies
    • Yoshitaka Ota
    CommentOpen Access
  • Conservation of nearshore marine ecosystems gains political support from the economic value of cultural ecosystem services from surfing. This contribution is greater if the mental health benefits of surfing are included. For the Gold Coast, Australia, these are estimated at ~US$1.0–3.3 billion per year. Mental health benefits from surfing comprise 57–74% of the total economic benefits of surfing; 4.4–13.5 times direct expenditure by surfers; and 4–12 times economic effects via property and inbound tourism. For the 50 million surfers worldwide, these translate to a global estimated value of ~US$0.38–1.30 trillion per year. Greater accuracy will require multi-year panel studies.

    • Ralf C. Buckley
    • Mary-Ann Cooper
    CommentOpen Access
  • If the full net cost of deep-seabed mining (DSM) is determined for different entities with a stake in DSM (e.g., countries, private companies, the public), would such analysis support DSM or not? We surveyed existing literature to lay the foundation for addressing this question. Although further work is needed before a conclusive determination can be made, preliminary findings suggest that DSM is unlikely to be appealing to most of the entities covered by this study if the full net cost of DSM is comprehensively considered.

    • U. R. Sumaila
    • L. Alam
    • R. Flint
    CommentOpen Access
  • The construct of ocean identity provides a valuable lens that can unpack the multiple dimensions of human connections with ocean spaces, and crucially places importance on the integration of cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. The construct of ocean identity is applicable in academic and professional contexts, and is largely unexplored from both qualitative and quantitative research perspectives. This comment article presents a revised definition of ocean identity and posits a useful conceptual framework based on a robust analysis of literature to unveil the multiple dimensions that may explain an individuals’ ocean identity. Here we identify a series of attributes that could be considered possible explanatory attributes of the emerging concept of ocean identity. Future research will statistically test the concepts presented here to validate a scale for measuring ocean identity. This piece contributes to the ongoing ocean literacy discourse and deepens our understanding of the multiple conceptual dimensions of ocean identity.

    • Miriah R. Kelly
    • Jo-Marie Kasinak
    • Jennifer H. Mattei
    CommentOpen Access
  • How can ocean governance and science be made more equitable and effective? The majority of the world’s ocean-dependent people live in low to middle-income countries in the tropics (i.e., the ‘tropical majority’). Yet the ocean governance agenda is set largely on the basis of scientific knowledge, funding, and institutions from high-income nations in temperate zones. These externally driven approaches undermine the equity and effectiveness of current solutions and hinder leadership by the tropical majority, who are well positioned to activate evidence-based and context-specific solutions to ocean-sustainability challenges. Here, we draw together diverse perspectives from the tropics to propose four actions for transformational change that are grounded in perspectives, experiences, and knowledge from the tropics: 1. Center equity in ocean governance, 2. Reconnect people and the ocean, 3. Redefine ocean literacy, and 4. Decolonize ocean research. These actions are critical to ensuring a leading role for the tropical majority in maintaining thriving ocean societies and ecosystems.

    • Ana K. Spalding
    • Kirsten Grorud-Colvert
    • Rebecca Vega Thurber
    CommentOpen Access
Moving towards Climate-smart Ocean Planning

Moving towards Climate-smart Ocean Planning

Marine spatial planning initiatives need to become climate-smart — properly integrating climate change — to be sustainable equitable and relevant under a changing ocean.
Open for submissions