Ocean Literacy is a fast-growing strategic area in oceanography. It is easy to see why: citizens tend to trust scientists, find their work exciting, and are eager to engage and get inspired by it. But Ocean Literacy in scientific institutions goes well beyond this. It is key to increase societal and policy awareness of the needs, challenges, and opportunities of ocean research and sustainable blue economy.
As part of the Ocean Decade’s laboratory on ‘An Inspiring and Engaging Ocean’, our activity demonstrated the role of scientists and scientific institutions as Ocean Literacy advocates. We also highlighted how science managers and policy and decision-makers can support and promote science outreach and Ocean Literacy, reflected in the EuroGOOS recommendations for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (http://dx.doi.org/10.25607/OBP-1076).
Both public and policymakers require a basic Ocean Literacy to support relevant policies and sustainable economic activities. Scientists are important role models of Ocean Literacy, and this work should be recognized and supported in their careers. Without Ocean Literacy it will be impossible to achieve a collective action and behaviour change towards sustained science operations and funding.
Download a summary report from our Ocean Decade activity, 8 July 2021 as part of the laboratory on ‘An Inspiring and Engaging Ocean’