Society and the Sea Conference – Thank you!

Society and the Sea Conference

15-16 September 2016

University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, UK

The 1st Greenwich Maritime Conference ‘Society and the Sea’ was a great success. There were 36 presentations representing a diverse range of maritime issues across conservation, fisheries, arts, history, health and wellbeing and the blue economy. Many thanks to all the delegates who took part and in particular to the five keynote speakers, the presenters and the session chairs. Thanks to all for making it such a worthwhile event. Final thanks goes to the excellent organisation skills of the University of Greenwich FACH Research Office for going the extra mile and making sure everything ran smoothly and also to the Trafalgar Tavern for a fantastic and memorable conference dinner.

Keynote presentations, abstracts and photos from the event will be uploaded to this blog and the conference website soon!




Glen O’Hara talk on ‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain’, 19th May

Glen O’Hara, author of Britain and the Sea since 1600 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), is coming to Greenwich on talk about ‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain’.

Date: Thursday 19 May 2016 at 6.00 pm.

Venue: University of Greenwich, Room QA 075 (Edinburgh Room), Queen Anne Court Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, London SE10 9LS.

The talk is free – you can register at Eventbrite or just turn up.

‘The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain:

Pollution was not a high priority in the first years after the Second World War. Britain’s coastline and estuaries were often littered with wartime detritus: many inshore and inland waters were highly polluted or indeed toxic and lifeless. Biodiversity and levels of marine life had both fallen rapidly in many areas. A mix of austerity and localism meant that concerted action was almost impossible. But the damage done by the east coast floods of 1953, pressure exerted by increasingly-popular pressure groups pushing for better access to safer amenities, and the shock of oil disasters such as the wreck of the Torrey Canyon in 1967, helped created a new, integrated and urgent sense of ‘the environment’. This involved both accounting for and addressing the manifold dangers of Britain’s polluted seas, and began the long centrally-directed cleanup that continues into the twenty-first century.



Photo: Oil covered shells,  International Maritime Organization ©. Reproduced from Flickr under a Creative Commons Licence .

Glen O’Hara is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Oxford Brookes University. He is the author of Britain and the Sea since 1600 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). For further information about Glen, please go to Follow him on Twitter @gsoh31

This talk is part of the History & Environment series presented by the Raphael Samuel History Centre in conjunction with the University of Greenwich, Dept of History, Politics and Social Sciences. This year’s series theme is Britain and the Sea. To find out more about the RSHC History and Environment Seminars in general, please contact George Yerby For more information on these Greenwich RHSC seminars, please contact: Vanessa Taylor

Greenwich Maritime Research Seminars

Don’t forget to come along to the Greenwich Maritime Research Seminars convened by the Greenwich Maritime Centre and the National Maritime Museum.


GMRS Cover


The next talk is:

Wednesday 27th April 2016


National Maritime Museum, Seminar Room 


Dr Michael Talbot, University of Greenwich

‘To protect the coasts from pirate brigands’: Ottoman anti-piracy measures in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1718-70


This paper will examine the development of deterrent and protective naval patrols by the Ottoman navy in the Aegean and Levant seas against domestic pirates, Maltese corsairs, and European privateers. These were partly in response to demands for  protection from Ottoman provincial subjects and partly due to a developing sense of maritime territoriality.

GMC’s first Featured Artist – Vince Bevan

Art can be a powerful way of engaging people in important issues. It can tell a story in a way that words might not.  A key goal of the Greenwich Maritime Centre is to increase social awareness and appreciation of the seas and oceans, and we feel that it is important to engage with artists and art as part of this process. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that at regular intervals through the year the GMC will  feature artists whose work relates to maritime issues.

Our first featured artist is Vince Bevan who is a freelance photographer based in Bristol, UK. Vince was commissioned as part of the Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability (GIFS) project to produce a series of images under the title ‘Landscapes of Fishing’ that depicted inshore fisheries at the start of the 21st Century in England, France, Belguim and the Netherlands. The collection can be seen on the GIFS website and his other work can be seen on his website.

Vince Bevan is a freelance photographer based in Bristol, U.K. He works extensively in photojournalism and supplies images to a wide variety of clients, nationally and internationally. His pictures have been published in many newspapers, magazines and books worldwide including The Guardian Weekend Magazine; The Independent Magazine; Independent on Sunday Review; The Times; Sunday & Daily Telegraph; The Observer; The Financial Times; Geographical Magazine; Le Point (France); Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), and Das (Switzerland).

The diverse range of subjects he has covered include the war in Bosnia, religious festivals in Spain, East Timor’s struggle for independence, the refugee crisis on the Thai/Burma border and extensive documentation of the fishing industries in England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

He has exhibited at a number of U.K. and international venues, including the British Library, London; Royal Festival Hall, London; Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London; National Maritime Museum Cornwall; National Eisteddfod of Wales; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; ‘Festival Photo L’Homme et la Mer’, Brittany; ‘International Photoreporter Festival’, Brittany, and the Bibliotheek Kris Lambert, Ostend.

His photographs are held in several public collections and he has won a Nikon International Gold Medal and awards from Cosmopolitan and the Museum of London. Selections of his images are currently represented by Corbis, Alamy, Zuma Press and Millennium Images.

The horseback shrimp fishermen of Oostduinkerke, Belgium

Once a popular form of fishing in certain areas of France, Holland and England, Oostduinkerke is the only place left in the world where the 500 year old tradition of shrimp fishing on horseback is still in practice.
Shrimp fishermen sit in wooden saddles on their horses, which drag large nets behind them.  Draft horses famous for their enormous strength, such as the Brabant, are used for this task.  The catch is then transported through the streets of Oostduinkerke on carts. © 2014 Vince Bevan
Nicky King, fisherman, Wells-next-the-Sea, north Norfolk, constructing crab pots in his shed

Nicky started fishing professionally at 15 and is a member of the Wells-next-the-Sea lifeboat crew. “Everyone is very worried about protecting every other marine organism, apart from fishermen. I think the only endangered species, to be quite honest, is us lot.” Nicky King. © 2014 Vince Bevan


Oystermen tending their oysters at low tide in St. Vaast la Hougue, which is situated in the cradle of Normandy’s oyster industry

The oysters are enclosed in sacks that need regular turning to separate them, and are farmed on either side of the town. The oyster growers of Normandy produce about 25% of all the oysters in France (approx. 35,000 metric tons annually).  The area of oyster cultivation encompasses more than 2,700 acres. © 2014 Vince Bevan

If you would like your work to be shown, please visit here for our submission guidelines.

Launch of Greenwich Maritime Centre

The Greenwich Maritime Centre (GMC) had it’s official launch on the 8th March. Over 100 people attended the event which  started with welcomes from Dr June Balshaw (Head of Department for History, Politics and Social Science) and Michael Everard (Former chairmen of F.T Everard and president of BIMCO among many other achievements). The new Director of the GMC, Dr Tim Acott introduced the centre and described its goals and future plans. Dr Adriana Ford and Dr Chris Ware talked about the breadth of research and teaching activities encompassed by the centre. After the formal talk there was a lively drinks reception accompanied by the Camilli String Quartet. Conversations and discussion continued deep into the evening reflecting the enthusiasm of a broad range of individuals and organisations who wanted to learn about the GMC. GMC will host its first conference in September 2016. The launch event coincided with the first GMC art exhibition showing a collection of work by photo-journalist Vince Bevan titled Landscapes of Fishing. The exhibition is open to the public and will run in the Heritage Gallery until the 24th March.

GMC’s Dr Adriana Ford presents work on fisheries and tourism at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Florida

Whether it is to look at it, travel over it, go in it, or eat produce from it, people have always been drawn to the sea. As a result, seas and tourism are intimately connected.

One particular aspect of this relationship – linking responsible tourism with small-scale fisheries – has been the subject of interest of the Greenwich Maritime Centre’s Dr Adriana Ford and Dr Tim Acott.

Dr Adriana Ford presented their most recent projects (TourFish and LinkFish) at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference – held at the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida, 25th-27th January 2016.

Her presentation, titled Linking responsible tourism with small-scale fishing: experiences from Europe and the Caribbean’, led to discussions with other conference attendees on the potential to transfer some of these ideas to the places where they work and live.

Of particular interest was the ‘Responsible Tourism Development Model’ for small-scale fisheries, which aims to conceptualise potential pathways and approaches for building responsible fisheries-related tourism.

RT Development Model for small-scale fisheries.

Responsible Tourism Development Model for small-scale fisheries. Source: Ford. A.E.S. & Acott, T. (2015) © University of Greenwich 2015

The conference also provided a valuable opportunity for the GMC to meet many inspiring practitioners in the field of sustainable tourism, and to learn of other case studies and approaches for linking the marine environment with sustainable tourism.

This included a talk by Dr Blair Witherington, Conservation Programs Manager for Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Dr Witherington shared his experiences of how large corporations such as Disney can be involved in sustainability and marine conservation efforts, including their project monitoring sea turtle nesting at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and the Tour De Turtles event, engaging locals and tourists alike in nature and the oceans – sea turtles as ‘ocean ambassadors’.

You can find out more about The International Ecotourism Society and their annual conferences here, and you can see a copy of Dr. Ford’s presentation here: Ford- Responsible Tourism and Small Scale Fishing

Please email for more information on the TourFish or LinkFish projects.


Ref: Ford, A.E.S. and Acott, T. (Eds) (2015) Responsible Tourism: a guide for tourism and sustainability in small-scale fisheries and agri-food. TourFish cluster of the INTERREG IV A 2 Seas Programme. London: University of Greenwich

A copy of the guide is a available here


‘Britain and the Sea’ – Free to attend seminar series at Greenwich

sea boat shells

Raphael Samuel History Centre
in collaboration with

University of Greenwich


‘Britain and the Sea’

About these talks
This seminar series is organized by the Raphael Samuel History Centre in conjunction with the Dept of History, Politics and Social Sciences,
Univ. of Greenwich


3 December 2015

Greg Bankoff (Hull)
England’s Maritime Empire and the
World Aeolian System


3 March 2016

Tim Acott (Greenwich)
& Julie Urquhart (Imperial)Heritage, Memory and Small-ScaleFisheries:A Sense of Place Perspective


19 May 2016

Glen O’Hara (Oxford Brookes)
The Fight against Seaborne, Oil and
Beach Pollution in Post-War Britain

Seminars are free to attend and all are welcome! 


Room 075 (Edinburgh Room), Queen Anne Court University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College
Park Row, London SE10 9LS


For more information on these Greenwich RHSC seminars, please contact: Vanessa Taylor

On the RSHC History and Environment Seminars in general, please contact:
George Yerby

Call for entries for the 2015 Greenwich Forum Undergraduate Prize

Greenwich forum image -gif

The Greenwich Forum has opened for entries the 2015 Undergraduate Prize

They received some wonderful entries from various institutions last year covering a wide range of disciplines last year and they are now looking to  follow this success with entries for the 2015 prize.

The Greenwich Forum aims to promote public awareness of mankind’s dependence on the sea, by encouragement of debate, discussion and education.

To encourage students to pursue current maritime/marine questions in their degree work, in whatever discipline, and to reward the best of that work, the Forum has established an annual prize of £500 for the best undergraduate final year project/dissertation. The closing date for nominations is 1 August every year.

For guidance on the entry requirements please download the leaflet below

Prize Leaflet 2015