The MBA is working with partners across Europe, the United States and Canada to embed ocean literacy in everything we do.  We are the co-ordinators of the Sea Change project aiming to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea.

What is "Ocean Literacy" ?

Few of us are aware of how important the sea is to human wellbeing: medically, economically, socially, politically and environmentally. Many of us are unaware of how day-to-day choices and actions can have a cumulative effect on the health of the ocean – a necessary resource that must be protected for life on our blue planet to exist.

In other words, we often lack a sense of “Ocean Literacy” - an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean.

An Ocean-Literate person: 

  • Understands the importance of the ocean to humankind
  • Can communicate about the ocean in a meaningful way
  • Is able to make informed and responsible decisions regarding the ocean and its resources

Working with partners across Europe, the United States and Canada we are seeking to make that 'Sea Change' in behaviour and the Ocean at the heart of all we do.

The Marine Biological Association is the Coordinator of the Sea Change project, an €3.5 million EU Horizon 2020-funded project that addresses the challenge of raising European citizens’ awareness of the intrinsic links between the ocean and human health. 

Europe cannot achieve sustainable exploitation of marine resources and maintain a healthy ocean unless its citizens understand the full extent of the medical, economic, social, political and environmental importance of the sea to Europe and how their behaviour can have an impact on marine ecosystems. By developing “Ocean Literacy” (an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean) in Europe, Sea Change aims to foster responsible behaviour of citizens towards the seas and ocean and their resources.

The project consortium is made up of 17 partners in 9 countries with an additional 6 third parties from ECSITE and the World Oceans Network (WON) plus an International Advisory Group chaired by Paula Keener from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA).  

Free Online Seminar - 30th October - 17th November 2017

Co-Exploring Ocean Issues and Ocean Literacy - a free online 3 week workshop, seminar series and learning lab (with the option of 1 graduate credit for a fee in the US).

Presented by CoExploration UK in partnership with the College of Exploration USA and Sea Change Partners.

What is the connection between ocean literacy and global seabed mapping?

What is the connection between ocean literacy and ocean and human health?

What is the connection between ocean literacy and aquaculture?

Learn about related projects and perspectives from scientists and educators from Europe, USA and Canada; and come and help answer these questions and more by joining the conversation.


Sea Change activities include:


Increasing Ocean Literacy

Human Health and the Ocean

Check out the new infographic on ocean plastic   

For  more information or get involved please contact:

Jon Parr ( or Fiona Crouch ( and visit the project Web site:


The European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) is an informal non-profit organization. Founded in 2011 by Fiona Crouch (MBA), Evy Copejans (Flanders Marine Institute) and Geraldine Fauville (University of Gothenburg) the association provides a platform for ocean education and promoting ocean literacy within Europe. 


The particular goals and activities of EMSEA are the following:

  • Stimulate dialogue between European and international marine educators and scientists
  • Provide training and teaching materials to support marine educators
  • Raise educators awareness of ocean issues and the need for a sustainable future for our coasts, seas and oceans


  • to organise workshops and conferences for marine educators
  • to build a web portal with links to providers of marine educational and research-based materials
  • to provide a forum for members feedback and communication

EMSEA holds an annual conference at different locations across Europe. The first in 2013 was held in Plymouth supported by the MBA. Other locations include: Gothenburg, Crete and Belfast. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for educators, scientists and policy makers to share best practice and discuss and design Ocean Literacy initiatives in Europe.

The next conference EMSEA17 will be held at the Univeristy of Malta, Valletta 7th - 10th October 2017

The Ocean Literacy Principles were developed by hundreds of educators and scientists in the United States as a guide to teaching about the Ocean. These principles are now being used as a framework in Europe to develop strategies towards the goal of an Ocean Literate society.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Seven Principles of Ocean Literacy

1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.

3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.

4. The ocean made the Earth habitable.

5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.

6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.

7. The ocean is largely unexplored.

For more information on ocean literacy and how you can get involved:

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For Ocean Literacy and Sea Change please contact:

Jon Parr

Sea Change Co-ordinator

or Fiona Crouch

Sea Change Manager


Twitter:  @SeaChangeproject_EU