To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Decline and diversity in … - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Decline and diversity in Swedish seas: Environmental narratives in marine history, science and policy

Journal article
Authors S. Lidström
S. Sörlin
Henrik Svedäng
Published in Ambio
ISSN 0044-7447
Publication year 2019
Published at Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment
Language en
Keywords Baltic Sea, Declensionist narrative, Environmental framing, Environmental narratives, Marine environmental history, Swedish seas
Subject categories Marine ecology


Before the mid-twentieth century, there was no comprehensive narrative about empirical conditions in Swedish seas. Around 1970, this view changed profoundly. In line with growing research and the emergence of ‘the environment’ as a defining concept, conditions in Swedish seas were framed as a ‘narrative of decline’. Marine scientists have since recorded more diverse developments than are described by an overall declensionist narrative. Data show trends of interrupted decline, variability and even recovery, taking place at least partly in response to effective policy and legislation. We suggest that beyond the specialised fields of marine sciences and marine environmental history, the overarching narrative of decline has persisted, paying little attention to local and regional particularities as well as cultural and political dimensions of the marine environment. This overly uniform narrative risks obscuring historical reality and, hence, fails to adequately inform policy and the public about developments and outcomes of interventions in Swedish seas. © 2019, The Author(s).

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?