File(s) under permanent embargo

Ocean governance and risk management

posted on 01.01.2015, 00:00 authored by Geoffrey WescottGeoffrey Wescott
The high seas have always engendered a range of emotions and reactions from humans. Curiosity, fear, even terror, of this great expanse of ocean which cover 70 % of Earth the blue planet. Yet the sheer size of the oceans and the difficulty of transporting across them meant the high seas were largely ignored by the vast majority of humans for centuries. Humans were largely confined to land with the only interest in the seas being as trade routes and the defence of the land. In fact all the way up to the last quarter of the twentieth century a nations territorial sea extended only three nautical miles off shore the distance that a cannon ball could be fired.
This almost casual relationship to the oceans changed dramatically in the 1960s and 1970s as technology played an ever icnreasing role in the exploitation of the natural resources of the seas. Fishing was made far easier by being able to use sophisticated sonar systems to detect the fish and by advanced nets and vessels. But it was probably the technological ability to first find and then extract oil and gas off shore on continental shelfs, and at increasing depths, which stimulated interest in exploiting marine resources. Dreams of other deep sea mineral resources (e.g. manganese nodules) simply fuelled interest in the oceans, not to mentino some of the pharmaceuticals that were being discovered.


Title of book

Risk governance : the articulation of hazard, politics and ecology

Chapter number



395 - 412



Place of publication

Dordrecht, The Netherlands





Publication classification

B Book chapter; B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2015, Springer




U Fra.Paleo