The concept of Blue Economy (BE) is recognized as central for sustainable development that incorporates socio-economic benefits and ecological conservation. However, in Africa, much of the emphasis on BE is placed on economic gains; as a result, traditional livelihoods and small-scale local operations are outcompeted by international corporations and government initiatives, with little or no regard for social inclusion and environmental sustainability. We argue that successful BE initiatives in Africa accentuate the involvement of local communities and promote sustenance of the natural ecosystem. We define success in terms of the sustainability balance among ecological, social and economic aspects. Drawing on extensive expert experiences, observational data and literature review of case studies across the African continent, we highlight two critical findings. First, large scale BE initiatives prioritize economic gains at the expense of environmental degradation and the exclusion of local communities. Second, using the full spectrum sustainability (FSS) evaluation, we show that successful BE interventions considered ecological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional objectives. Drawing on these case studies, we propose the adoption of a collaborative framework which amalgamates the top-down and bottom-up approaches to BE management. Achieving the goal of successful blue growth in Africa is now even more challenged by the implications of COVID-19 on the BE sectors. Reimagining and rebuilding a resilient BE in Africa post-coronavirus will require a strong political commitment to promoting a balance between economic, social and environmental benefits in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The adoption of sovereign blue bonds by the Republic of Seychelles, hereafter referred to as Seychelles, focuses on resource sustainability and illustrates options for island countries to use their ocean resources for years into the future. The fishing industry is one of the main pillars of Seychelles’ economy and is of crucial importance for domestic food- and employment-security. In order to promote long-term ecological sustainability and economic viability of domestic fisheries, accurate and long-term baseline information is required. Such baseline data were derived here with a reconstruction of the Seychelles’ domestic fisheries catches and fishing effort within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from 1950 to 2017, coupled with resulting Catch Per Unit Effort data (CPUE). The total reconstructed domestic catch was approximately 1.5 times larger than the baseline as reported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on behalf of Seychelles from 1950 to 2017 after adjustment for fully domestic catches within the EEZ. Domestic catches (i.e., excluding the large-scale industrial pelagic catches) increased by over 500% throughout the time period, growing from 1,900 t⋅year−1 in the 1950s to around 11,200 t in 2017. The major targeted taxa were jacks (Carangidae), tuna-like fishes (Scombridae) and snappers (Lutjanidae). Total fishing effort in the form of fishing capacity grew from 21,500 kWdays in 1950 to over 3.4 million kWdays in 2017. The resultant artisanal CPUE displayed a declining trend over time, suggesting a potential decline in relative abundance of fish populations within the Seychelles EEZ or targeted fishing areas.
Growth of the blue bioeconomy has potential for contributing positively toward economic growth, societal needs and multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, organizations currently experience many challenges which limit success in this field. The aim of this paper is to identify trends in challenges linked to target end markets, stages in the value chain and organization types, to suggest potential solutions and link these to potential novel business models. A survey was completed by 58 organizations representing countries across four continents, and interviews were conducted with seven selected European start-ups/SMEs, to gather information regarding existing bottlenecks and to validate their business model. Results indicate that organizations targeting the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sector experience a majority of challenges related to supply and technology, whereas organizations targeting the industrial biotechnology or agricultural industry experience more issues linked to market. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches could be applied in order to implement suggested actions. Analysis of the business model canvas used by start-ups/SMEs revealed potential for improvement. In particular, it was noted that review of the ‘revenue stream’ segment within the business model, specifically regarding alternatives to governmental funding, could be helpful for the long-term survival of these types of organizations.
The “Blue Economy (BE)” is an increasingly popular concept as a strategy for safeguarding the world’s oceans and water resources. It may emerge when economic activity is in balance with the long term capacity of ocean ecosystems to support the activity in a sustainable manner. Importantly, the concept of BE posits the inherent conflicts between two discourses—growth and development, and protection of ocean resources. The inherent conflicts require solutions to embrace the opportunities associated with the ocean economy while recognizing and addressing its threats. The potential solutions on a global scale are advocated by the United Nations in their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, we notice that the identification of the scope and boundaries of the BE in line with the UN’s SDGs is vague even challenging, and the key stakeholders and their interests and roles in the BE are also vague. This review examines the scientific evidence of the association between the BE and the UN’s SDGs, and relevance and alignment of stakeholders on the link between the BE and SDGs. Based on a literature survey between 1998 and 2018, we find that BE is highly associated with SDGs 14–17. Notably, we find that stakeholders prefer SDG 3 Good Health & Well-Being and SDG 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth in the BE context. As stakeholder involvement shows some differences and variations in the relationship between the BE and SDGs, we consider that stakeholders can play some roles directly or indirectly in the BE-SDGs context. In order to set achievable goals and targets in BE-SDGs, we support that key stakeholders should be identified to play several important roles in prosperous economic, societal development and setting tolerable ranges for the ocean biosphere.
Research on the sustainable development of the marine economy has conventionally revolved around the relationship between efficiency and development. However, most studies have neglected examining how excessive marine resource inputs under certain conditions may lead to resource congestion that restricts output efficiency and sustainable development. To fill this research gap, we optimized an index system to evaluate the input level of marine resources. Using the data of 11 coastal provinces and cities in China from 2000 to 2016, we calculated the congestion of marine resources and analyzed its spatiotemporal evolution and primary influencing factors. Finally, we separated the inefficiency driven by congestion from pure technical inefficiency. The results showed the following: (1) Grave, long-term marine resource congestion does exist in China, and it has evolved from fast to slow, strong to weak, and agglomeration to dispersion; (2) Congestion in the coastal areas has gradually weakened from north to south, and the center of gravity has experienced a shift from the center of China toward the north; (3) Marine resource congestion is mainly affected by the input of resource and capital, resource endowment, and industrial structure; (4) Factors leading to inefficiencies include resource congestion and long-term pure technical inefficiency. By combining congestion and efficiency, we produce values for studying inefficiency and the sustainable development of the marine economy, with the benefit of providing targeted strategies.
Climate change has detrimental impacts on the ocean such as ocean acidification, the occurrence of extreme weather, increasing frequency of storms, and sea level and temperature rise, which will threaten the marine ecosystem existence and threaten the marine economic potential. Indonesia, with 6.4 million km2 area of waters, hold enormous fisheries potential wealth and enormous potential economic value. Data from the Marine and Fisheries Ministry notes that the marine economic potential reaches IDR 3000 trillion and there only IDR 291.8 trillion of the total potency that already gained. Sustainable fisheries development must be in accordance with the development principles that benefit the present generation but still pay attention to sustainability for future generations. Blue economy policies and programs become the right and effective approach for marine development to encourage optimal and sustainable utilization and exploitation of fisheries resources. This research is a legal research by using statute approach to relevant legal materials. This study aims to integrate the blue economy principle in to marine and fisheries policies and reconstruct the existing policies. The result of this study is a proposed model of blue economy-based policy to get a sustainable national marine and fisheries management.
Coastal wetlands have been valued for a variety of ecosystem services including carbon sequestration and long term storage. The carbon sequestered and stored in coastal habitat including mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass beds is termed as blue carbon. However, these systems are threatened mainly due to sea level rise, limited sediment supply, edge erosion, and anthropogenic influences. These habitats require restoration and conservation to continue providing ecosystem services. The incentive for emission reductions, referred to as carbon offsets, is well established for other ecosystems like forestry and agriculture. Some blue carbon offset methodologies or protocols have been certified by various voluntary carbon markets; however to date, a few wetland restoration carbon offset in the US has been transacted. Thus, the goal of this paper is to discuss the existing carbon market and carbon market methodologies applicable to coastal wetland restoration and conservation in the US. Currently, four wetland carbon offset methodologies have been approved in the carbon market. These methodologies are site and/or project-specific depending on the type of the wetlands, vulnerability to loss, and restoration need. The appropriate carbon stock and Green House Gas (GHG) emission assessment is the basis of determining carbon offsets. Simplification of the existing methodologies and development of new site and project-specific methodologies could potentially help to realize blue carbon offsets in practice. The slowly growing demand for carbon offsets in the carbon market could potentially be fulfilled from the blue carbon pool. While this carbon offset is in the early stages, this review may help the inclusion of carbon offset component in the coastal restoration and conservation projects in United States and potentially across the globe.
Since 2011, when the first European ocean literacy (OL) project was launched in Portugal, the number of initiatives about this topic in Europe has increased notoriously and their scope has largely widened. These initiatives have drawn from the seven “OL Principles” that were developed by the College of Exploration OL Network in 2005. They represent a source of inspiration for the many endeavors that are aiming to achieve a society that fully understands the influence of themselves – as individuals and as a population – on the ocean and the influence of the ocean on them. OL initiatives throughout the past years, globally, have resulted in the production of countless didactic and communication resources that represent a valuable legacy for new activities. The OL research community recognizes the need to build up the scope of OL by reaching the wider Blue Economy actors such as the maritime industrial sector. It is hoped that building OL in this sector will contribute to the long-term sustainable development of maritime activities. The ERASMUS+ project “MATES” aims to address the maritime industries’ skills shortages and contribute to a more resilient labor market. MATES’ hypothesis is that through building OL in educational, professional and industrial environments, it is possible to build a labor force that matches the skills demand in these sectors and increases their capacity to uptake new knowledge. The MATES partnership will explicitly combine OL and knowledge transfer by applying the “COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer Methodology” as developed by the H2020-funded COLUMBUS project.
With the anticipated boom in the ‘blue economy’ and associated increases in industrialization across the world’s oceans, new and complex risks are being introduced to ocean ecosystems. As a result, conservation and resource management increasingly look to factor in potential interactions among the social, ecological and economic components of these systems. Investigation of these interactions requires interdisciplinary frameworks that incorporate methods and insights from across the social and biophysical sciences. Risk assessment methods, which have been developed across numerous disciplines and applied to various real-world settings and problems, provide a unique connection point for cross-disciplinary engagement. However, research on risk is often conducted in distinct spheres by experts whose focus is on narrow sources or outcomes of risk. Movement toward a more integrated treatment of risk to ensure a balanced approach to developing and managing ocean resources requires cross-disciplinary engagement and understanding. Here, we provide a primer on risk assessment intended to encourage the development and implementation of integrated risk assessment processes in the emerging blue economy. First, we summarize the dominant framework for risk in the ecological/biophysical sciences. Then, we discuss six key insights from the long history of risk research in the social sciences that can inform integrated assessments of risk: (1) consider the subjective nature of risk, (2) understand individual social and cultural influences on risk perceptions, (3) include diverse expertise, (4) consider the social scales of analysis, (5) incorporate quantitative and qualitative approaches, and (6) understand interactions and feedbacks within systems. Finally, we show how these insights can be incorporated into risk assessment and management, and apply them to a case study of whale entanglements in fishing gear off the United States west coast.
The term ‘Blue Economy’ is increasingly used in various marine sectors and development frameworks. For it to be a truly useful approach, however, we argue that social benefits and equity must be explicitly prioritized alongside environmental and economic concerns. This integration of social dimensions within the Blue Economy is required to ensure that marine economic sectors contribute to achieving sustainable development goals. We review what an equity-focused ‘Blue Economy’ might mean for some established and emergent marine sectors and note existing guidelines that may be used for incorporating these aspects into planning. Moving towards a Blue Economy does not only imply developing emerging sectors in undeveloped areas; larger challenges will be found in transforming industries that already have significant economic and livelihood contributions despite concurrent social and environmental concerns. A ‘marine industrial revolution’—as the Blue Economy has sometimes been understood—cannot achieve sustainable development and well-being if it does not avoid the widespread negative social and ecological impacts of historical development pathways. A concerted effort is therefore necessary to design and implement inclusive and equitable policies as an integral part of a Blue Economy that is transformative and not only expansive.