Ocean Policies


Adopt and advocate a holistic view on the ocean issues.

Recognize the ocean´s important role towards climate change and other environmental problems.

Identify the different threats and opportunities related to the ocean; list the most relevant actors at the different levels; outline the available tools to overcome, minimize or respond to the threats, to use positively the existing opportunities, and to create new ones.

Explain the potential opportunities for a sustainable blue economy.

Identify and evaluate the most relevant political instruments and lines of action at a global, regional, national at local levels, and diagnose the need for further development.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Damanaki, Assunção Cristas


Weekly - 2

Total - 24

Teaching language



Not Applicable


Reports and Strategic Political Documents

- Stuchtey, M., A.Vincent, A.Merkl, M. Bucher et al., Ocean Solutions that Benefit People, the Nature and Economy,  Whashington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2020 (High Level Panel Report for a Sustainable Ocean Economy), 2020 (and the previous sectorial papers)

- Blue Growth, Scenarios and drivers for Sustainable Growth from the Oceans, Seas and Coasts, Third Interim Report, Final, European Commission, DG Mare, March 2012

- Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters, Independent Expert Report of the Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Water, Pascal Lamy (Chair) et al., European Commission, September 2020

- A New Approach of the Atlantic Maritime Strategy Atlantic Action Plan 2.0, An updated action plan for a sustainable, resilient, and competitive blue economy in the European Union Atlantic area, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, 23 July 2020

- Africa Blue Economy Strategy, African Union, 2019

- Sustainable Ocean for All, Harnessing the Benefits of Sustainable Ocean Economy for Developing Countries, OECD, 2020

- Rethinking Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, OECD, Paris, 2019

- The Ocean Economy in 2030, OECD, Paris, 2016

- A Sustainable Ocean Economy in 2030: Opportunities and challenges, The Economist Group World Ocean Initiative, June 2020

- National Ocean Strategy 2021-2030, Portugal

- National Ocean Strategy 2013-2020, Portugal


Legislation and other

- United Nations 2015. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

- UNCLOS United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Montego Bay, 1982

- EU Maritime Spatial Planning Framework Directive

- EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive

- Lei de bases de ordenamento e gestão do espaço marítimo (Portugal) Lei n.17/2104 de 10 de abril

- BBDJ Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (convention under preparation)


Teaching method

Lectures comprise a broad discussion of all topics, with a special focus on concrete examples; special participants might be invited to join the classes.

Individual presentation of student´s papers followed by discussion with the professor and colleagues.

Evaluation method

Completion of a written assignment, presentation and oral discussion of the same.

Subject matter

1.Core lines of ocean policies. Main political players and different layers of political action, from de multilateral global conventions (maxime UNCLOS) to the regional, national, and local instruments.

2. Old and new uses of the ocean. Main challenges, opportunities, and threats. The digital transition. Maritime Spatial Planning.

3. A healthy, productive, and resilient ocean for all: sustainable food, carbon storage and ecosystems protection and restoration, clean energy, well-being, and connectivity.

4. Sustainability as the central concern and guiding principle. Research, knowledge, and technology. Public awareness, ocean literacy, and citizen science.

5. Critical discussion on the need of binding or non-binding political and legal instruments.