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Detecting critical choke points for achieving Good Environmental Status in European seas

Tavis Potts, Department of Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen
Tim O'Higgins, Scottish Association for Marine Science
Ruth Brennan, Scottish Association for Marine Science
Sergio Cinnirella, CNR - Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research
Urs Steiner Brandt, University of Southern Denmark
Juan Luís Suárez de Vivero, Universidad de Sevilla
Justus van Beusekom, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Tineke A Troost, Deltares
Lucille Paltriguera, CEFAS
Ayse Gunduz Hosgor, Middle East Technical University


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Choke points are social, cultural, political, institutional, or psychological obstructions of social-ecological systems that constrain progress toward an environmental objective. Using a soft systems methodology, different types of chokes points were identified in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the Baltic, and the North and Mediterranean seas. The choke points were of differing types: cultural and political choke points were identified in Barra and the Mediterranean, respectively, whereas the choke points in the North Sea and Baltic Sea were dependent on differing values toward the mitigation of eutrophication. We conclude with suggestions to identify and address choke points.

Key words

marine policy; Marine Strategy Framework Directive; marine sustainability; soft systems methodology; systems science

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087