Detecting critical choke points for achieving Good Environmental Status in European seas

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Potts T., O'Higgins T., Brennan R., Cinnirella S., Brandt U. S., Suarez de Vivero J. L., ...More

ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, vol.20, no.1, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.5751/es-07280-200129
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: marine policy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, marine sustainability, soft systems methodology, systems science, CONCEPTUAL-MODEL, SYSTEMS THINKING, NORTH-SEA, MARINE, MANAGEMENT, WATER
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Choke points are social, cultural, political, institutional, or psychological obstructions of social-ecological systems that constrain progress toward an environmental objective. Using a soft systems methodology, different types of chokes points were identified in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the Baltic, and the North and Mediterranean seas. The choke points were of differing types: cultural and political choke points were identified in Barra and the Mediterranean, respectively, whereas the choke points in the North Sea and Baltic Sea were dependent on differing values toward the mitigation of eutrophication. We conclude with suggestions to identify and address choke points.