Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Porter Hoagland

» Sediment management

» Drowning Barriers

» Florida Red Tides

» Decision-support for coastal and marine spatial planning

» Managing Ocean Zoning

» Ecosystem-Based Management

» Maine Red Tide

Developing New Institutions for Managing Ocean Zoning

Di Jin (WHOI); Hauke Kite-Powell (WHOI)

In many places, ocean space has become a scarce commodity, and, as for other resources in short supply, institutions should evolve eventually in ways that minimize transactions costs in its allocation. Historical patterns of use, entrenched policies, distributional effects, mismatches, and adverse political conditions may slow institutional evolution and preclude the realization of economic benefits from the ocean and its resources. Fundamentally, we need to ask "How do we design, implement, and manage a system of ocean zoning?" In our research, we are looking for institutional approaches that are flexible and adaptive, thereby potentially capable of responding efficiently to changes in environmental conditions, ecological status and processes, production technologies, and consumer preferences over time.

MacLeod, M.S., M. Lynch and P. Hoagland.  2009.  Ocean zoning.  In J.H. Steele, S.A. Thorpe and K.K. Turekian, eds., Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences.  2nd edition.  Cambridge, UK: Elsevier.  Online at:

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