Maritime Society & History | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Maritime Society & History

This research topic is focused on the interaction and synergy between humans and the sea from an economic, sociologic and historic point of view. Today and throughout history human beings are confronted with the opportunities and risks presented by the sea. Hence, the ocean and the sea constitute a fundamental component of society throughout different periods and cultures.

In the light of the growing importance of the Blue Economy in Europe as well as in Belgium, we study the development of various sectors which shape a maritime identity in coastal societies. We want to evaluate socio-economic consequences of Blue Economy developments in Flanders, as well as socio-economic factors influencing these developments.

Through maritime archaeological research, new knowledge is generated from maritime heritage such as ship or airplane wrecks. Innovative analyses of historical sources yield insights in maritime activities, international connections and the formation of communities, but also e.g. on how the sea was used as a resource. or how language developed. Together with multiple academic partners, VLIZ discloses and valorizes the Prize Papers Collection, shipboard documents from the 17th to 19th century, in a Southern Netherlandish context.

People working in this topic

Related projects

  • Southern Netherlandish Prize Papers Research. more
  • North Sea Wrecks. more


  • via the expert group Prize Papers: KULeuven (history), UAntwerpen (history) UGent (history, linguistics and literature), VUB (history, linguistics), Museum Aan de Stroom, NAVIGO, Flemish Heritage Agency, fisheries sector
  • The Prize Papers Project at the University of Oldenburg, subordinate to the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • The National Archives in Kew, England