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To achieve a sustainable blue future, progress assessments must include interdependencies between the sustainable development goals


Nash, KL and Blythe, JL and Cvitanovic, C and Fulton, EA and Halpern, BS and Milner-Gulland, EJ and Addison, PFE and Pecl, GT and Watson, RA and Blanchard, JL, To achieve a sustainable blue future, progress assessments must include interdependencies between the sustainable development goals, One Earth, 2, (2) pp. 161-173. ISSN 2590-3330 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2020.01.008


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on providing society with a sustainable future. Progress toward the goals is being tracked by a series of indicators. These indicators show progress toward individual goals and targets but do not show how success or failure in relation to one goal might affect success or failure in another area. We show how interactions between the oceans and human poverty, hunger, and gender equity are hidden by indicator assessments and how this undermines the capacity of governments and organizations to maximize long-term moves toward sustainability. These findings are important for decision makers who work in the public and private sectors and wish to avoid unforeseen outcomes when implementing sustainability initiatives. Here, we suggest extensions to the current assessment framework to help counteract the identified issues, providing a research agenda for scientists working in all fields of sustainability science.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sustainable development goal, marine ecosystems, environmental change, human well-being, trade-offs, synergies, blue economy, blue futures, food security, poverty, gender equity
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Environment policy
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
UTAS Author:Nash, KL (Dr Kirsty Nash)
UTAS Author:Cvitanovic, C (Dr Christopher Cvitanovic)
UTAS Author:Fulton, EA (Dr Elizabeth Fulton)
UTAS Author:Pecl, GT (Professor Gretta Pecl)
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
UTAS Author:Blanchard, JL (Professor Julia Blanchard)
ID Code:137047
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:44
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-01-29
Last Modified:2020-12-08
Downloads:26 View Download Statistics

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