Environmental problems in the ocean are steadily increasing. To get the full picture of what is happening and an understanding of how to tackle these challenges – both today and in the fututre – we need a holistic approach that takes into account several scientific perspectives. Natural science research increases knowledge about function of the sea, whereas social science research gives us an insight in how human behaviour affects the marine environment. One important task for the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment is to synthesise and integrate research results from different disciplines to get a more comprehensive understanding of how different factors interact and what the outcome is for the marine environment.
The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment, SIME, is a national centre based on collaboration between five universities: University of Gothenburg, Linneaus University, Stockholm University, Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, with a coordinating secretariat in Gothenburg. The institute has an assignment from the Swedish government to give a broad picture of the current environmental state of Swedish marine waters.
The five universities in different parts of Sweden give SIME access to broad knowledge and good geographical coverage.
In order to give an integrated and comprehensive picture of the current environmental state of the oceans a national function for analysis and synthesis has been set up at the secretariat in Gothenburg. There are also environmental analysts working at the universities participating in the collaboration, which guarantees a good knowledge coverage of all marine areas along the coasts of Sweden.
SIME has close collaboration with the authorities responsible for marine management, and with the surrounding society. It has an important role as a knowledge transfer provider and facilitator between scientists, officials and decision makers. With up-to-date interdisciplinary knowledge about the environmental state of the oceans, SIME supports the Swedish government and authorities in their decision making concerning the marine environment.