A framework for mapping and monitoring human-ocean interactions in near real-time during COVID-19 and beyond

CA Ward-Paige, ER White, EMP Madin, GJ Osgood, LK Bailes, RL Bateman, E Belonje, KV Burns, N Cullain, P Darbyshire-Jenkins, R S de Waegh, AM Eger, L Fola-Matthews, BM Ford, C Gonson, CJ Honeyman, JE House, E Jacobs, LK Jordan, JJ LevensonK Lucchini, Marti-PuigP Martí-Puig, LAH McGuire, C Meneses, PH Montoya-Maya, RA Noonan, PA Ruiz-Ruiz, PE Ruy, RA Saputra, G Shedrawi, B Sing, MD Tietbohl, A Twomey, DC Vergara Florez, L Yamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The human response to the COVID-19 pandemic set in motion an unprecedented shift in human activity with unknown long-term effects. The impacts in marine systems are expected to be highly dynamic at local and global scales. However, in comparison to terrestrial ecosystems, we are not well-prepared to document these changes in marine and coastal environments. The problems are two-fold: 1) manual and siloed data collection and processing, and 2) reliance on marine professionals for observation and analysis. These problems are relevant beyond the pandemic and are a barrier to understanding rapidly evolving blue economies, the impacts of climate change, and the many other changes our modern-day oceans are undergoing. The “Our Ocean in COVID-19” project, which aims to track human-ocean interactions throughout the pandemic, uses the new eOceans platform (eOceans.app) to overcome these barriers. Working at local scales, a global network of ocean scientists and citizen scientists are collaborating to monitor the ocean in near real-time. The purpose of this paper is to bring this project to the attention of the marine conservation community, researchers, and the public wanting to track changes in their area. As our team continues to grow, this project will provide important baselines and temporal patterns for ocean conservation, policy, and innovation as society transitions towards a new normal. It may also provide a proof-of-concept for real-time, collaborative ocean monitoring that breaks down silos between academia, government, and at-sea stakeholders to create a stronger and more democratic blue economy with communities more resilient to ocean and global change.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105054
JournalMarine Policy
StatePublished - Apr 5 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-04-14
Acknowledgements: This is a multi-sector project that has a wide range of collaborations. We thank all project partners including the home institutions of the principal investigators and the industry partners who are spreading the word about the project including The Moreton Bay Foundation (Australia), Live Ningaloo (Australia), Cairns Emergency Vets (Australia), Project Manaia (Austria), Calabaza Sailing Cruises (Barbados), Ocean Eyes (Chile), Chile Divers (Chile), Chile Mio (Chile), Pintarroja (Chile), Panthalassa (Chile),Centro de Buceo (Chile), Fundacion Mar y Ciencia (Chile), Ocean Missions (Iceland), Gili Shark Conservation (Indonesia), Niyama (Maldives), Gozo Azul (Mozambique), Guinjata Dive Centre (Mozambique), Tropical Research & Conservation Centre (Nigeria), National Aquarium of New Zealand, Sustainable Ōtautahi Christchurch (New Zealand), Mar Nosso (Portugal), Canana, Pura Vida Diving (Spain), Club de Buceo (Spain), Manta Diver (Spain), Deep Ocean Diver (Spain), Thalassa Boat Tours (Thailand), Ocean Sanctuaries (US), The Adventure Boat (US), Wild Side Hawaii (US), Off The Grid Ocean Adventures (US), Pacific Marine Charters (US), Oceans Forward (US).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law


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