As we bid farewell to 2023, we take a moment to reflect on the impactful journey we’ve had at Howell Marine Consulting. This year has been shaped by a series of projects that not only challenged us, but also allowed us to showcase our expertise and commitment to making a positive difference to the Sustainable Blue Economy.

Our work in the UK

In the UK, our commitment to excellence and innovation in the marine and environmental sectors has led to collaborative ventures that redefine possibilities for the UK marine landscape. Here’s a glimpse at some of our transformative initiatives on home turf.

Five Capitals Approach for MMO

HMC delved into a thought-provoking venture for the MMO, exploring the application of a five capitals approach to marine planning. This comprehensive project resulted in a tangible contribution – a novel five capitals asset register and network maps. The outcome offers a transparent and stakeholder-informed process for a sustainable blue economy.

Fisheries Management Scotland FIRNS Source-to-Sea Fund

HMC have teamed up with Finance Earth to investigate the potential for building on the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund’s (SMEEF) successes to date and developing a source-to-sea fund that would support river catchment area restoration work across Scotland.

NatureScot SMEEF Insights

HMC is working with the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF) team to review the fund’s progress to date and consider future options for monitoring and reporting on the range of marine enhancement projects it supports through voluntary contributions.

Defra Marine Monitoring Transformation

Commissioned by Defra’s Strategic Data & Evidence team, HMC took on the challenge of transforming marine monitoring practices. The result was a scoping report and roadmap for Defra, outlining a strategic path for the evolution of marine monitoring systems. This project underscores HMC’s commitment to evidence-based decision-making, cross-government integration, and collaborative efforts in monitoring practices.

Defra Fisheries Technology Evaluation

HMC, in collaboration with ICF, played a crucial role in the design of an evaluation framework for Defra regarding fisheries monitoring technologies. By enhancing the evaluation capabilities of Defra and its arms-length bodies, HMC demonstrated its expertise in evaluation methodologies and contributed to the optimisation of fisheries management practices.

MMO Marine Plans Enhancement

In collaboration with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), HMC undertook a comprehensive evaluation of engagement materials and methods used for incorporating marine plans into decision-making processes. This collaborative effort showcases HMC’s dedication to fostering an informed and efficient decision-making landscape in the marine management domain.

Research Impact Programmes

Throughout the year, HMC continued its impactful role as a research champion for ongoing programmes like INSITE, ECOWind, and the newly appointed ECOFlow (Ecological Consequences of Floating Offshore Wind) programme. These programmes, addressing complementary knowledge gaps and supporting marine policy, demonstrate HMC’s commitment to ongoing research contributions in the marine and environmental sector.

This year, we worked with the INSITE project to design and deliver a series of webinars, focusing on marine biodiversity, marine monitoring, offshore wind deployment, commercial fishing, and cumulative effects assessment, showcase the ongoing commitment to stakeholder engagement and knowledge dissemination. You can catch-up on all the webinars from 2023 here:

We also relished the opportunity to take our research impact initiatives on the road, showcasing these projects at conferences across the UK, including SIME and MASTS Annual Science Meeting 2023 in Glasgow, the Supergen ORE Hub Annual Assembly in Southampton, and the ECOWind Annual Impact Meeting in Manchester.

Transformative International Work 

In 2023, HMC has embraced a year of global collaboration and impact. Our international projects have not only marked a significant stride in our journey but have also contributed to the sustainable development of the blue economy, and the restoration of marine ecosystems worldwide. Explore our noteworthy international ventures and the positive change they’ve catalysed.

Ascension Island Government Science Hub Feasibility

HMC were proud to work with the Ascension Island Government to assess the feasibility of the Island as a ground-breaking science hub which would be an invaluable resource to researchers in the fields of atmospheric science, marine science, terrestrial ecology, geology, and social science.

World Bank Blue Economy Evaluation

Conducting an evaluation of World Bank investment into blue economy programmes globally. Members of our team conducted valuable on-the-ground work in Indonesia, West Africa, and Cabo Verde and strategic support across the portfolio of evaluation. Following in-depth analysis, we were able to provide the World Bank with in-depth appraisals and case studies of their landmark blue economy investments.

UNEP SIDS Flagship Programme

Working alongside UNEP, UNDESA, and the FAO, HMC supported the development of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Flagship Programme. This Flagship Programme directs funding to Saint Lucia, Comoros, and Vanuatu, exemplifying HMC’s dedication to supporting marine and coastal ecosystem restoration on a global scale.

UNEP Sustainable Blue Economy

We continue our collaboration with UNEP, helping them to develop their approach to delivering a Sustainable Blue Economy and supporting them in trialling a new Rapid Readiness Assessment tool in the Caribbean, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kenya. We look forward to starting 2024 with the revision of UNEP’s Sustainable Blue Economy Transition Framework, working with the University of Portsmouth and UNEP to develop publishable outputs.

At HMC, every project is a chapter in our journey, and 2023 has been a story of growth, resilience, and meaningful impact. We’re grateful for the trust our clients have places in us, and we look forward to new collaborations and achievements in the years to come.

Here’s to a successful 2023, and an even brighter 2024!

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