CPUT’s Virtual Open Day is now open! Click here to visit >>>

Centre for Sustainable Oceans (CSO)


The CPUT Research Chair: Oceans Economy and Centre for Sustainable Oceans concentrate their endeavours on research and projects that underpins regional and global advancements of ocean health and economies. The Centre focuses on the need to balance increased human ocean resource uses and development (the aspects of ocean wealth) with ocean health, and sustainable and inclusive uses.

The main research focus of the Centre is in ocean sustainability. The CSO focuses on three interwoven research themes related to the Oceans Economy. The research themes focusses on the challenges facing advancement of governance within the South African Ocean Economy using the development of informed knowledge-bases, models and associated capacity development.

Research Theme 1: Changes in oceans arising from ocean economy sectors. Ocean economy sectors are affected by human-related activities that affect the health of the ocean. Monitoring anthropogenic activities and impacts are needed to developed spatial information, data and knowledge affecting economy sectors by using spatial and valuation metrices. The Centre is currently assessing metrices in plastics and associated sectors (eg. plastic waste) of South Africa.

Research Theme 2: Decision-making in Ocean Governance. The second theme focuses on the application of “Science-to-Policy” research to support ocean governance. The rationale for the theme lies in the fact that decision-makers in ocean governance require a full suite of management options to allow optimal management. The Centre is currently focusing on Science-to-Policy research related to plastics, in particular microplastics and plastic litter.

Theme 3: Emergent and New Ocean Science Technologies – the development of capacity and skills by CPUT. The third theme focuses on collaborations within CPUT, locally, regionally and internationally. Collaborations focus particularly within fields of pollution, biotechnology, engineering and data analyses to evaluate new and emergent technologies. The current focus is on innovation regarding plastics with regards to pollution monitoring, ecotoxicology, biotechnology, spatial data and information analyses that will drive innovation and new knowledge bases for the development of new skills related to South Africa’s ocean economy.

Alignment to CPUT's Vision 2030 Strategy

With reference to CPUT’s Vision 2030 strategy, the Research Chair initiative aligns primarily to Focus Area 3: Smart RTIP that is relevant and has impact in terms of research output and uptake and Focus Area 4: Smart Human Capital and Talent in terms of post-doctoral and postgraduate supervision. Initiatives are well positioned within CPUT’s Focus and Niche Areas:

Research Focus Area 1: Bio-Economy and Biotechnology

  • Research Niche Area 3: Oxidative Stress in Health and Disease Development

Research Focus Area 2: Space Science, Engineering and Technology

  • Research Niche Area 2: Space Applications

Research Focus Area 4: The Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability

  • Research Niche Area 1: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
  • Research Niche Area 2: Climate Change and Sustainable Environment.
  • Research Niche Area 3: Cyclical Economy and Design for Sustainability

Research Focus Area 5: Human, Health and Social Dynamics, Including Issues Related to Service Delivery

  • Research Niche Area 4: Health and Well-being


The positioning of the Centre for Sustainable Oceans over a five-year period as a Centre of Excellence in international, regional, and national Ocean Governance arenas and a thought-leader in ocean sustainability and ocean conflict and equity challenges in the Southern African region


The advancement of knowledge and information bases, skills, and technologies for informed management and governance of multi-sectoral ocean resource-uses and ocean health across the Southern African Ocean Economies

Contact Details

  • Physical Address: Faculty of Applied Sciences, Sciences Building, 4th Floor, Room 4.6, ,District Six Campus, CPUT, Corner Hanover & Tennant St, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
  • Postal Address: Centre for Sustainable Oceans, Faculty of Applied Sciences, CPUT, P.O. Box 652, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
  • Contact Centre for Sustainable Oceans at cso@cput.ac.za