Future of the sea

Foresight project looking at the important future trends, challenges and opportunities for the UK from the sea.

The sea covers 70% of the world’s surface and is essential to regulating global temperature, water, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Technological advances are creating new opportunities to understand the sea, its resources and the effects of climate change.

We carried out a Foresight project to consider the role that science and technology can play in understanding and providing solutions to the long-term issues affecting the sea. The project worked with policy-makers to identify the most important future trends, challenges and opportunities for the UK from the sea.

It focused on the following areas:

  • resources and economic potential of the sea
  • environmental issues
  • governance of the sea

Project report

  1. Future of the sea

    • Research and analysis

Evidence reviews

  1. Future of the sea: the future of marine biodiversity

    • Research and analysis
  2. Future of the sea: cybersecurity

    • Research and analysis
  3. Future of the sea: impacts of sea level rise on the UK

    • Research and analysis
  4. Future of the sea: hazardous chemicals and physical contaminants

    • Research and analysis
  5. Future of the sea: health and wellbeing of coastal communities

    • Research and analysis
  6. Future of the sea: trends in the transport of goods by sea

    • Research and analysis
  7. Future of the sea: ocean acidification

    • Research and analysis
  8. Future of the sea: biological responses to ocean warming

    • Research and analysis
  9. Future of the sea: plastic pollution

    • Research and analysis
  10. Future of the sea: implications from opening Arctic Sea routes

    • Research and analysis
  11. Future of the sea: trends in aquaculture

    • Research and analysis


Published 3 August 2016
Last updated 21 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Final project report published.
  2. Added 4 new evidence reviews.
  3. Added 4 new evidence reviews.
  4. Added 3 new evidence reviews.
  5. Added 'Future of the sea: industry perspectives on emerging technology'.
  6. First published.