Diving into the potential of blue economy

Nautical Channel
01 Sep 2021

Reading time: 3.5 minutes

According to the United Nations, every year the ocean economy has a turnover of between 3 and 6 trillion US dollars. This involves employment, ecosystem services that are provided by the ocean and cultural services. 

Moreover, 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea and 350 million jobs worldwide are linked to fisheries. Thanks to the world’s oceans, we have many job opportunities. However,  terms such as blue economy, ocean economy or blue growth are unknown by many. What potential lies under the blue economy and how could we benefit from further implementations?

blue economy shipping company

What is the blue economy?

This new concept encourages the sustainability of the ocean resources for economic growth. It helps improve the livelihood and employment, as well as ocean ecosystem health. Blue economy deals with social equity to reduce ecological risks at the time it fuels the economy in a sustainable way. 

This economy is not just about market opportunities, it also provides protection and development of intangible ‘blue’ resources. It supports traditional ways of life, carbon sequestration and coastal resilience. 

The Blue Economy englobes different economic activities, such as:

black and white wind mills by the ocean

Renewable energy: Island electrical infrastructures feed power generated by marine energy systems. This energy is fed to the island electrical grid and consumed in the island. The forms of ocean energy are waves, tides, currents, salinity gradients and temperature gradients. Nonetheless, tidal energy is currently the most mature technology. 

Aquaculture: Is an activity aimed at the production of animal proteins in water. This includes fish, molluscs, crustaceans… Fisheries generate approximately 353,000 jobs in the Mediterranean region.

Maritime Transport: This involves the transport of passengers or cargo by a sea-going vessel. The Mediterranean area hosts 17% of the world’s oil tanker capacity. Also, imports represent 11% of world trade.

cruise in the sea

Tourism: If the sea level rises, the area could experience a loss in beach areas, attractiveness or climate comfort. This affects the value of the tourist experience, leading to changes in expenditure and choice. 

Also, in the Mediterranean, coastal areas represent 79% of jobs created in the blue economy. 

The Blue Economy also englobes other activities in the ocean industries related to climate change, waste management, mineral resources, marine biotechnology, shipbuilding...