Ocean Research Priorities: Similarities and Differences among Scientists, Policymakers, and Fishermen in the United States
Understanding and solving complex ocean conservation problems requires cooperation not just among scientific disciplines but also across sectors. A recently published survey that probed research priorities of marine scientists, when provided to ocean stakeholders, revealed some agreement on priorities but also illuminated key differences. Ocean acidification, cumulative impacts, bycatch effects, and restoration effectiveness were in the top 10 priorities for scientists and stakeholder groups. Significant priority differences were that scientists favored research questions about ocean acidification and marine protected areas; policymakers prioritized questions about habitat restoration, bycatch, and precaution; and fisheries sector resource users called for the inclusion of local ecological knowledge in policymaking. These results quantitatively demonstrate how different stakeholder groups approach ocean issues and highlight the need to incorporate other types of knowledge in the codesign of solutions-oriented research, which may facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration.