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By Jeff Ardron, jeff.ardron [at]

What is it about maritime planning and its fickle love affairs with acronyms? Two years ago, I was in a forum about communicating science and was informed that ecosystem-based management (EBM) was no longer a good thing to say because it sounds too “sciencey” which makes stakeholders and decision-makers nervous. Clearly this was bad news for all of us who had previously been promoting the concept.

Instead, we were supposed to talk about concrete things, like marine spatial planning (MSP). But a short year later, in the United States, MSP too had become taboo, because it implied zoning, which — you guessed It — makes stakeholders and decision-makers nervous. As you may recall, zoning wasn’t always bad. About ten years ago or so, we were singing praises to integrated coastal zone management (ICZM)!

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By Toni Parras, Communications Professional, toniparras [at]

If a picture says a thousand words, then video says….well, you do the math.

Despite being dependent on marine resources for sustenance and livelihood, many coastal residents don't ever see the state of the underwater habitat on which those resources depend.  All they know is that the fish, shellfish and other marine species that are coming up out of the water are smaller and scarcer than in times past.
The story of a colleague I met through the Locally-Managed Marine Area Network — a group of practitioners working on community-based marine management efforts throughout the Indo-Pacific — offers a particularly good example of the power of video to inform people’s understanding and even change minds.