Name Department & contact In your view, what are today's biggest ocean challenges?
Jesper L. AndersenAndersen, Jesper L.

Associate professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Oceans are used by many different users, with many non-users having an opinion about how oceans should be used. This creates an array of complications and externalities by some upon others which is not accounted for, thus setting incentives wrongly. Finding an operational way through this jungle of interests and biological/economic/social interactions is a challenge.
Morten K. AndersenAndersen, Morten K.

Postdoc, Department of Anthroplogy

Coming soon
Michelle BetsillBetsill, Michelle

Professor, Department of Political Science


Understanding the relationship between marine conservation and climate change governance. To what extent do marine conservation governance efforts advance (or not) climate goals and vice versa?
Christian BuegerBueger, Christian

Co-chair, Professor, Department of Political Science

I see two major problems that urgently needs to be addressed. The first concerns the lack of conversation and prevalence of misunderstandings between different professions that deal with the oceans. For instance, the security-development-conservation nexus. The second problem I would like to flag are the environmental consequences of the shipping industry, in particular caused by accidents such as oil spills and container loss at sea.

Aoife DalyDaly, Aoife

Associate Professor, Saxo Institute

For me, working with maritime heritage, I see the oceans as an enormous resource for knowledge of our human past. The material remains of ships, fishing structures and settlements under water and in intertidal zones deliver a wealth of information about past people, connecting us with our past. Life at sea, travel, communication and transport, battles and wreckage, these all leave valuable, tangible remains from past human ocean interaction.

Vincent GabrielsenGabrielsen, Vincent

Professor emeritus, Saxo Institute

To understand the history of human use and abuse of ‘the maritime/ocean’, particularly through the multidisciplinary study of two of its complementary aspects: (i) the preservation/betterment of ‘the maritime/ocean’ as a primary economic resource; (ii) the preservation/betterment of the balance in the interaction between landward and seaward activity.

Hoff, Ayoe

Senior Researcher, Department of Food and Resource Economics

When working on the topic of fisheries, a core challenge remains the securing of environmentally and economically sustainable capture fisheries at a global scale.

Katja Lindskov JacobsenJacobsen, Katja L.

Senior Researcher, Department of Political Science

Coming soon

Carsten JahnkeJahnke, Carsten

Co-chair, Associate Professor, Saxo Institute

Two of the greatest ocean challenges in history as much as in the contemporary era are the use of marine resources and the oceans as areas of contact.

Uffe JakobsenJakobsen, Uffe

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Climate change in the Arctic and thawing of sea ice may generate economic opportunities (new shipping routes etc.) but also include human and societal security issues, where thawing of permafrost in coastal areas will be of increasing concern.

Berit KaaeKaae, Berit

Senior Researcher, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management

We need a more holistic view of how to solve the ocean challenges: Getting the social-economic systems perspectives and drivers of change into the ocean science research field, which is at present dominated by natural sciences, to focus on the marine ecosystem.

Kristian Søby KristensenKristensen, Kristian Søby

Senior Researcher, Department of Political Science

Firstly, climate change and the impact/consequences of climate change polices on oceans and ocean governance. Secondly, changing geopolitics and the oceans’ role as conflict-hot-spots in great power competition
Felix MallinMallin, Felix

Postdoc, Department of Political Science

During the past five centuries, the global ocean has been gradually enclosed and power over ocean-space increasingly concentrated. What possibilities for social equity and participation remain at the beginning of the 21st Century? To me, this is the most pressing challenge to respond to.
Jens Ladefoged MortensenMortensen, Jens Ladefoged

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

The new geo-economics of the Oceans: The dirty rush for the deep-sea resources.  Oceans are – and have always been - the artery of the globalizing economy. Oceans provide the glue of global production and trade. Oceanic resources are fueling the global economy. But as the Oceans are being de-globalized, the governance of Oceans is increasingly subject to geo-economic power contests. What are the broader implications of de-globalizing of the Oceans? Can existing governance structures cope with such pressures. What are the economic and, most importantly, environmental implications?
Nielsen, Max

Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics

One of the greatest challenges is the pollution of the oceans. In some areas with nutrients and in large parts with plastic. I think the regulation of different marine sectors in siloes is a large challenge to overcome towards achieving a more sustainable use of the oceans.
Rasmus NielsenNielsen, Rasmus

Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Crucial challenges, in my view, are the eutrophication in the Baltic Sea region, and plastic and chemical pollution of the oceans globally
Katherrine RichardsonRichardson, Katherine

Professor, Globe Institute

The greatest challenge regarding the ocean now is developing the governance systems necessary to manage ocean use without jeopardizing the important roles the ocean and ocean biology have in the functioning of the Earth System.
Bea Romera MartinezRomera Martinez, Bea

Co-chair, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

Coming soon
Cecilie RubowRubow, Cecilie

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

The biggest challenge is neglect! How can academic communities enhance public sea-literacy, i.e. an awareness of the oceanic lifeforms, dynamic processes and the effect of human activities.
Pablo SelayaSelaya, Pablo

Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Two central challenges of the present are (1) understanding the specific mechanisms through which marine resources shaped societal capabilities to sustain economic and institutional progress; and (2) looking for the potential of those capabilities to create coordination systems that will allow for a responsible management of the oceans as a vital global resource.
Gunvor SimonsenSimonsen, Gunvor

Associate Professor, Saxo Institute

One challenge for historians of the early modern world is to understand oceans and their fringe waterscapes (rivers, bays, creeks, swamps, shorelines) as conducive to and formative of social and economic struggles over resources and life possibilities. Another, and connected challenge, is to understand the world’s waterscapes as layered and interconnected through various scaling processes, some extensive, others intensive.
Yoshi TanakaTanaka, Yoshifumi

Professor, Faculty of Law

In my view, there are at least two major challenges from the viewpoints of the international law of the sea. The first is the regulation of marine plastic litter and the second is the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).
Vibe UlfbeckUlfbeck, Vibe

Professor, Faculty of Law

Coming soon
Maxim UsyninUsynin, Maxim

Postdoc, Faculty of Law

Although it is difficult to generalize, the biggest challenge probably follows from today’s political agenda, which calls for addressing and mitigating climate change. Its application to maritime affairs would certainly mention responsible shipping, especially in the polar areas, introduction of new technologies (such as fuels and carbon capture), and the necessary legal adjustments.
Henrik VighVigh, Henrik E.

Co-chair, Professor, Department of Anthropology

In criminological terms, the shipping sector is troubled by two major matters of concern. First, the entanglement of regular and irregular flows – i.e. the smuggling of people, drugs, goods etc. within and through legal maritime traffic – is a continuous problem to such movements. Secondly, corrupt practices in ports, which facilitate bribes and payments for the illegal or illicit processing of documents and clearances, mar the functioning of these and negatively affect the trade in question.
Anders WivelWivel, Anders

Professor, Department of Political Science

One challenge that I would highlight is that geopolitical contestation is drawing the oceans and 'ocean actors' into games of power politics and rivalry. This creates new challenges in terms of undermining or marginalizing traditional channels of influence and shelter but also new opportunities as old hierarchies are shaken and traditional depedencies are challenged.