Marinising a terrestrial concept: Public money for public goods
13 September, 2021 Griffin Carpenter

Exiting the EU allows the UK to unilaterally change the frameworks that govern its environment and natural resources. This opportunity is timely given the urgent need to address the biodiversity and climate emergencies, and deliver the necessary policy changes to meet associated international agreements. The UK's divergence from EU environmental policy has already begun. The new Agriculture Act uses the concept of “public money for public goods” (PMPG) to seemingly revolutionise direct agricultural subsidies, replacing the much-maligned funding mechanisms under the Common Agricultural Policy and making the provision of their replacement dependent upon actions delivering societal gain. However, the potential benefits of transposing this concept to marine fisheries and aquaculture are yet to be recognised despite similar criticisms of funding mechanisms under the Common Fisheries Policy. This paper therefore considers the key distinctions between our use of marine and terrestrial environments and how PMPG could be applied to fisheries and aquaculture. The findings suggest that some forms of aquaculture are well-placed to benefit from a ‘marinising’ of the PMPG concept. Currently, capture fisheries, because they do not have ownership over marine space and interact with the marine environment in an extractive manner, have a greater challenge to adapt their business models to receive public money under this framework.

This article was originally published by the journal of Ocean & Coastal Management.

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