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


  • A new international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) was adopted and subsequently opened for signature in September 2023. Yet on average, recent multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) have taken over four years to move from signature to entry into force, while ocean-focused MEAs have taken nearly twice as long. Rapid ratification of the BBNJ Agreement is crucial for multiple reasons, not least to achieve the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework target for 30% of the marine environment to be protected by 2030. It is also vital to fulfill the Agreement’s stated ambition to contribute to a just and equitable future for humankind, considering today’s unprecedented expansion of commercial activities into the ocean.

    • Robert Blasiak
    • Jean-Baptiste Jouffray
    CommentOpen Access
  • Restoration supports the recovery of ecological attributes such as cover, complexity, and diversity to slow the areal decline of natural ecosystems. Restoration activity is intensifying worldwide to combat persistent stressors that are driving global declines to the extent and resilience of coral reefs. However, restoration is disputed as a meaningful aid to reef ecological recovery, often as an expensive distraction to addressing the root causes of reef loss. We contend this dispute partly stems from inferences drawn from small-scale experimental restoration outcomes amplified by misconceptions around cost-based reasoning. Alongside aggressive emissions reductions, we advocate urgent investment in coral reef ecosystem restoration as part of the management toolbox to combat the destruction of reefs as we know them within decades.

    • David J. Suggett
    • James Guest
    • Tom Moore
    CommentOpen Access
  • As marine conservation challenges intensify with accelerating anthropogenic change, informing public deliberation about difficult trade-offs requires commitment to epistemological pluralism. Robust integration of social sciences can improve the realism of policy debates by explicating a range of potential social-ecological outcomes. Funders have long incentivized interdisciplinarity, yet progress is insufficient and embedded in a political economy of knowledge production. Failure to substantively address inequities can stymie collaboration. Institutional expectations for promotion and tenure rarely recognize the extent to which deep engagement transforms epistemological norms and scholarly outputs. Several organizations and programs offer relevant experience and resources. Senior scholars can use their privilege to broaden the public accountability of science.

    • Jennifer F. Brewer
    • Holly M. Hapke
    CommentOpen Access
  • 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
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