What is Blue Economy?

blue economy

As the environmental concerns and the fight against climate change mobilize, the term blue economyis spreading around the world. It refers to an integrated approach based on sustainable use of the oceans and coastal areas to deal with environmental degradation and resource depletion. The aim is to create jobs, provide food, clean energy, and livelihoods, improve sustainable economic growth and help to regulate climate.  

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What does the blue economy concept cover?

“Blue economy” is a term used in economics to name the approach for a sustainable management of ocean and coastal resources. On a wider scale, it includes all ecosystems around seas, lakes and rivers.  

Blue economy aims at promoting oceans-related sectors and activities – and economic growth – while preserving “blue” resources in order to mitigate the devastating effects on the oceans and coastal areas. It offers the possibility of having more efficient land and ocean management, improved governance of marine ecosystems, lowered greenhouse gas emissions 

Alike the “green economy”, it fosters: 

  • human well-being,  
  • social equity and inclusion,  
  • environmental protection (carbon sequestration, CO2 reduction),  
  • ocean and coastal ecosystem health and resilience, 
  • community empowerment. 

How does the blue economy bring changes?

Making maritime industries more sustainable using artificial intelligence algorithms

In practical terms:  

  • Using renewable energy, greening ports and lowering maritime transport carbon footprint contribute to war against climate change and global warming. 
  • Ship recycling develop circular economy. 
  • Deploying green infrastructure in coastal areas has a positive impact on biodiversity and landscape’s preservation, but also on tourism and local economy. 
  • Sustainable and controlled harnessing of these natural resources help small island states address the issues of food insecurity, unemployment and poverty. 
  • Building economic instruments like blue carbon, blue bonds and coastal resilience insurance encourages environmental protection. 
 

Sinay actively supports the development of blue economy by helping maritime-based companies make their activities smarter and more sustainable. To do so, it provides timely, accurate and personalize data insights for the maritime industry via its cloud-based solution. This allows them to take the best decision and tackle the issues. 

What are components of the blue economy?

aquaculture

Various sectors, from conventional to emerging, are included in the “blue economy”: 

  • Aquaculture: farming finfish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in the sea or inland waters contribute to a sustainable food system 
  • Fisheries (deep sea/long-line fishing),  
  • Renewable energy (blue carbon): produce clean electricity from offshore wind energy, biofuels, salinity gradients, waves and tides, etc. to replace fossil fuels 
  • Ports activities  
  • Marine ecosystem services 
  • Deep sea extractive activities  
  • Offshore hydrocarbons 
  • Marine Biotechnology, Research and Development   
  • Bioprospecting  
  • Sea shipping 
  • Tourism (coastal, marine and maritime) 
 

Among all these, blue bioeconomy and biotechnology deserve a special mention as marine organisms are now being exploited for a wide range of commercial applications. These emerging sectors show great interest for algae, micro-organisms (e.g. micro-algae, bacteria and fungi) and invertebrates (such as starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins) to be turned into biofuels, cosmetics (anti-aging moisturizers), healthy food, bio-fertilizers, animal feed, packaging (coatings, plastic films for food containers), pharmaceuticals… R&D teams work on even more innovative uses of seaweed like biochar for crop nutrition, textile fibers, building materials, laundry detergents, etc. 

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What are the challenges of blue economy rise?

Although it gets more attention, the blue economy still faces some challenges, mainly the lack of trained personnel, poor ocean governance, lack of sectoral policies, laws and political support. 

Why is the “blue economy” development essential?

why is blue economy essential

Our planet is called “blue” because of the oceans that cover 72 percent of its surface. These are a great reservoir of critical resources for human life, by providing hundreds of millions of people across the globe with food and livelihood. For example, aquaculture provides 50% of fish for human consumption and fisheries represent 350 million jobs worldwide. Furthermore, since 80 percent of goods by volume is carried by sea, marine and coastal environments play a key role in global trade hence contribute significantly to economic development. 

The worldwide ocean economy’s yearly value is estimated at around $1.5 trillion while the oceans’ assets (natural capital) are said to be worth $24 trillion. Therefore, if the oceans formed a country, it would rank seventh of the world’s largest economies. By 2030, the revenue from the oceans is set to increase to $3 trillion.  

For decades, nations have exploited maritime and marine resources without paying enough attention to the effect of such activities on the ecosystems and taking appropriate measures to protect them. This has led to maritime pollution, endanger some species and ecologically valuable natural areas. Yet there is no doubt that the oceans provide global population with a huge amount of resources, preserve support systems on Earth and act as a very efficient climate regulator 

Therefore, it is crucial, not only to minimize the degradation of “blue” resources, but above all, to protect, but also to regenerate them. The objective is to make sure they can keep on fulfilling their strategic environmental functions for future generations while still allowing existing and new economic activities that represent, in many countries, a significant part of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

Last but not least, blue growth is a pathway to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, blue is essential to go green.  

Conclusion about blue economy

Increasing demand in the sectors linked to the blue economy, especially the emerging ones, create opportunities and green jobs across the world, mainly in Europe, with has the largest sea space in the world.  

In order to support blue bioeconomy development, Nations launch initiatives in research and innovation, data collection, regulatory framework improvement… Yet this development is uneven: whereas some regions and countries already have environmentally-compatible industries running, others still deal with poverty, lack of knowledge and resources to drive change and benefit from the coasts and oceans’ potential. 

In order to narrow the gaps and accelerate the deployment of new technologies and innovations at global scale, nation-states, as well as public and private sectors, have to collaborate through exchange of information, knowledge, best practices and successful strategies. And that might be one of the main challenges of the blue economy. 

Frequently Asked Questions About: BLUE ECONOMY

It refers to an integrated approach based on sustainable use of the oceans and coastal areas to deal with environmental degradation. 

Yes! Blue and green economy are linked and have much in common. Both fosters: human well-being, social equity and inclusion, environmental protection, ocean and coastal ecosystem health and resilience, community empowernment.

The use of renewable energy, ship recycling, deploying green infrastructure, saustainable and controlled harnessing, building economic instruments. 

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