The sea belongs to us all

Common Seas gets ‘out there’ to discover and explore challenges facing people and the sea. We spot the issues and align experts to engineer systems, products and policies that improve social and economic value, whilst creating a resilient ocean.


Fishers licensed to DSIFCA please register here

Ocean Friendly Design Forum

Through an adventurous exploration of the challenge, collaborative development and implementation of design solutions the Ocean Friendly Design Forum raises awareness, shifts perspectives and challenges the current design thinking and practical production of materials and products that commonly end up in the ocean. 

Fully documented inshore fisheries

Profitable and sustainable inshore fisheries and marine habitats can best be achieved by local, dynamic, seasonal and spatial management of fisheries and conservation areas. To deliver this we need systems to monitor and manage fishing activities.


Secured the world’s largest marine reserve and developed innovative technology to enhance protection of vast areas of Ocean

Skippered the Plastiki, a campaign on ocean plastic reached millions of people

Support global businesses to identify and reduce their impact on the Ocean

Media and keynote spokesperson drawing on experiences from Ocean expeditions to champion our intrinsic connection to the seas

Published scientific papers to support the management of marine protected areas

Designed England’s first scallop ranch to improve livelihoods while reducing environmental impact

Journeyed through the Indian and Bangladeshi Sundarbans to research life on the front lines of climate change  

Influenced UK Government policy to ensure all children learn about Ocean related topics in school

Developed vertical garden as a solution for coastal people living with increasing salinity. Tested the garden during Pacific crossing


Supported 500 young India’s to learn about social entrepreneurship while circumnavigate their country by train

The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides
— Jules Vern, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.



Jo Royle

Sea Champion with over 10 years experience spearheading global marine programmes through identifying critical marine issues, aligning senior experts, generating income and, engineering solutions to reduce human impact on the sea.  Transforms big visions into innovative, practical and deliverable strategies.  Diverse skills in leading resilient teams and creating policies including navigating South Georgia, inventing fisheries conservation strategies and reducing plastic pollution.

Jo spent over a decade in her first career clocking up around a hundred thousand sea miles as a sponsored ocean racing and expedition skipper. Witnessing first-hand the build-up of plastic on the world’s most remote beaches, such as those in the Antarctic, fuelled her to move ashore to deliver solutions towards maintaining productive oceans.


Sophie Thomas
Designer for circularity and co-founder Ocean Friendly Design Forum

Sophie has been working in the fields of ethical and sustainable design, behaviour change and material processes through her design agency, Thomas.Matthews for twenty years. Sophie has assisted global businesses and UK government organisations to define the role of designers within discussions around waste streams, resource efficiency and circular economies, and has worked with major organisations including Proctor and Gamble, Howies and Samsung on new models for circular business, internal communication of sustainable systems and external sustainability campaigns.


Vicky Long

Vicky is a producer, working across the arts and media. She was Project Director of Cape Farewell during their founding years from 2005-09 and since then has specialised in producing work which has an ecological focus. She enjoys working with a wide range of artists and collaborators to create work which nudges at change. Clients include the Eden Project, Southbank Centre, Siobhan Davies Dance, Forma, BBC and the Open University.