We organized a panel session on “Critical Approaches to Ocean Planning” at the 2018 AAG Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Organized by Noëlle Boucquey and chaired by Kevin St. Martin, panelists also included Katherine Sammler (California State University – Maritime Academy), Leslie Acton (Colorado State University), Lauren Drakopulos (University of Washington), and Noella Gray (University of Guelph). Panelists discussed topical issues including the sociopolitical aspects of marine protected areas, deep-sea mining controversies, approaches to governing high-seas regions, new dimensions of commercial fisheries governance, and our own work examining MSP in the US. The panel focused on critical questions about how environments and communities are imagined and produced via the mapping and management practices of ocean planning, how state and private entities are wielding power over spaces and bodies through these practices, and in what ways the material realities of oceans and non-human actors affect management discourses and practices.
Click for panel description
Ocean planning is growing in scope and influence globally, moving beyond local coastal management or pockets of marine protected areas, to include ambitious efforts to develop spatial plans covering wide swaths of national and territorial seas. At the beginning of this movement, most research focused on identifying best practices for ocean planning (e.g. stakeholder participation, “fair” distribution, considering future uses). More recently, a growing number of scholars are examining planning efforts critically, asking questions such as: How are environments and communities imagined and produced via the mapping and management practices of ocean planning? How are state and private entities wielding power over spaces and bodies through these practices? In what ways do the material realities of oceans and non-human actors affect management discourses and practices? What fundamental shifts in the theory and practice of oceans governance do they signify and promote? This panel aims to explore and expand the conversations surrounding ocean planning with other scholars working across disciplinary and theoretical contexts. Our purpose is to engage with new questions and innovative research methods to advance the discussion and critical research on material, technological, and epistemological engagements with ocean planning.