Blue Economy 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Article written by: Elvy
It is without a doubt that our country, Indonesia, is blessed with a remarkably rich marine biodiversity and natural resources due to the archipelago’s geographical location between the Indian Ocean and The Pacific Ocean. We also know that the blue seas of Indonesia are beautiful sights to see, but there is absolutely more to them than meets the eye.
The ocean is not just a large area of salty water you go to see on vacation or a place where the seafood you eat comes from. It is a vital element of our planet which produces the oxygen we breathe and provides us with many important resources for our global economy.
The United Nations has predicted that the world’s human population may increase to 9.7 billion people in the next 30 years (in 2050). More people means a bigger consumption of food and energy sourced from the oceans. In the year 2025 alone, FAO predicts that the annual fish consumption will be around 20% higher than today.
More challenges in the marine sector come from fishing violations, like illegal catching, overfishing, fossil fuel mining, and ocean pollutions from plastic and toxic chemical waste. These are all threatening to the wellbeing of the oceans as well as the coastal and marine biodiversity.
According to the World Bank, nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited. If this continues, it is possible that there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish in the future. What’s left for the next generations?
To make sure we can still have enough marine resources for the growing human population, every country in the world needs to follow the concept of Sustainable Blue Economy. The blue economy is a sustainable marine economic development model that complies with SDG 14. Its concept involves many activities, from fisheries, marine tourism, maritime transportation, to waste management and renewable energy. The goals are to develop a resilient social economy, protect blue carbon and wildlife, also fight climate change.
Blue Economy for Food Security
The economic potential of the Indonesian seas is one of the highest in the world, valued up to IDR 19,58 trillion per year coming from various sectors, such as offshore fishery, aquaculture, fish processing, and biotech industries.
Based on the reporting by Wantimpres.go.id in 2017, around 60% of all animal protein consumption in Indonesia came from fish and other kinds of seafood, making it a significant contributor to our national food security.
Despite such tremendous marine potentials, a sustainable Blue The economy needs to deal with some existing problems, including depleted fish stocks, damaged polluted environment, and poverty in coastal communities caused by weak law enforcement, monopoly, as well as a lack of education, financial support, and technology, for it to thrive.
Blue Economy for Tourism & Transportation:
Around 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea. Maritime transport creates many job opportunities and economic activities, such as international shipping, passenger ferries, port operations, etc. Efficient infrastructure, connectivity, and public regulations are important for the transport sector to grow sustainably.
Some necessary steps to allow natural marine resources to recover from tourism environmental impacts include restricting the number of tourists, implementing strict fishing zone, and annual closing of national marine parks.
Blue Economy for Renewable Energy:
According to the Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs, the government of Indonesia will focus on developing the use of renewable energy, such as hydropower and solar power, as a part of the efforts to achieve a more sustainable Blue Economy.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic this year has negatively impacted the livelihoods of fishermen and coastal communities who play an important part in supporting Blue Economy. CarbonEthics is trying to provide financially support by partnering with them to plant Blue Carbon Package (seagrass, seaweed, mangroves) and baby corals from your purchase and donation.
Join us to help them from home! Click here to participate now