Blue Economy [UPSC Notes]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 22, 2023, 10:35

Blue Economy refers to an economy based on the sustainable use of resources of the ocean for building economic growth, while simultaneously conserving the health of the oceans. The concept of blue economy is gaining traction in India, with the government calling it the sixth dimension of the New India Vision.

This concept advocates the sustainable use of ocean resources for human development. In this article, we have shared further details about the Blue Economy, such as its meaning, features, and importance.

What is Blue Economy?

The term Blue Economy refers to an economy based on preservation, and regeneration of the marine environment while sustainably promoting human growth and development. The scope of the blue economy was realized by Gunter Pauli in “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs”.

  • In a blue economy, the focus would be on preserving marine health as much as it would be on human growth.
  • It would also include bosting marine trade and opportunities.
  • Other areas of a blue economy would be tourism, renewable energy, development of fisheries, etc.

Blue Economy Features

The blue economy encompasses many activities, all of which work towards the sustainable use of our ocean resources, geared towards instigating improved livelihood, overall economic development, and creating new jobs while keeping the health of the ocean ecosystems in check. Some of the features of the blue economy are shared below.

  • Producing renewable energy by way of sustainable marine energy resources.
  • Enhancing ocean and coastal tourism, which in turn can give rise to new job opportunities and enhance economic growth in the region.
  • Oceans are an important carbon sink and can help greatly mitigate the ill effects of rising climatic changes like changing ocean current patterns, rising sea levels, and acidification.
  • Maritime transport of international goods traded through sea routes is expected to grow in great numbers in the years to come.
  • Better waste management on land can improve the oceans-health and enable their recovery.

Blue Economy Importance

Blue economy is an important concept that relates to the conservation of marine resources in an attempt to strengthen human growth and development. This concept promotes smart and sustainable growth and employment opportunities through maritime economic activities. Here are some reasons why the blue economy is important.

  • The oceans cover three-quarters of the earth’s surface. They contain 97% of the earth’s water. Also, they represent 99% of the living area on the planet Earth. This is one of the reasons why the blue economy is significant.
  • Oceans help derive 3-5% of the world’s GDP. So, a blue economy would promote growth in the maritime sector.
  • Oceans help in maintaining biodiversity and keeping the planet cool. They even absorb 30% of global carbon-dioxide emissions.
  • Many income generation modes have been ruled out through sustainable use of the oceans, which can greatly boost economic growth.

Blue Economy Countries

More and more countries are developing a blue economy these days. Realizing the potential of the ocean's resources as well as the deteriorating health of the oceans, world governments are prioritizing maritime sustainability.

Some of the countries with a blue economy are Denmark and Norway. India also aims to develop a blue economy by 2030 and the government is taking appropriate steps to realize this vision.

Blue Economy in India

The Indian government has included the development of a blue economy in its 2030 vision. Here are more details about this plan.

  • One of the primary projects initiated by the Indian Government toward the Blue Economy is the development of the Sagarmala Project.
  • This project would help develop inland waterways and coastal shipping and revolutionize maritime logistics, creating new job opportunities and even reducing logistics costs.
  • The O-SMART scheme has also initiated the use of oceans for sustained resource development in India.

Blue Economy: Areas of Focus

Establishing a blue economy requires the development of a number of things. Every country seeking to develop this type of economy invests heavily in maritime infrastructure. Here are some of the areas of focus that India has in mind for the development of its blue economy.

  • Renewable ocean energy
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Building seaports and shipping
  • Working on marine biotechnology research and development
  • Enhancing marine tourism and cruise tourism
  • Exploring offshore hydrocarbons and seabed minerals
  • Sustainable whale and dolphin watching tourism

Important Current Affairs Topics

Global Day of ParentsWorld Asteroid Day
Autistic Pride DayBlack Economy
World Blood Donor DayInternational Olympic Day
Father’s DayWorld Day Against Child Labor
Global Wind DayWorld Elder Abuse Awareness Day

FAQs on Blue Economy

Q1. What is Blue Economy?

Blue economy is a term that refers to the attempt to strengthen and promote sustainable growth while simultaneously preserving the ocean's resources. It also aims to generate employment opportunities through maritime economic activities.

Q2. Who introduced the concept of Blue Economy?

The concept of the Blue Economy was introduced by Gunter Pauli in his 2010 book- The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs. Since then, the concept has been used by several countries to develop their economies through maritime trade.

Q3. What is an example of Blue Economy?

Blue Economy refers to established ocean industries like marine transport, tourism, fisheries, and other activities like aquaculture, offshore renewable energy, seabed extractive activities, etc.

Q4. What is the difference between blue and ocean economy?

Many organizations use the terms Blue Economy and Ocean Economy interchangeably. However, they represent separate concepts. Where the ocean economy strictly aims to empower the ocean's economic systems, the blue economy focuses beyond just economic growth and includes the sustainability of oceans as well.

Q5. What is the importance of blue economy?

Blue economy is an important concept because it prioritizes the preservation of the ocean while simultaneously using its resources for human development. Denmark and Norway are two countries that have developed blue economies.

Q6. Which countries have a blue economy?

The number of countries with a blue economy is increasing year after year. Some of the countries prioritizing blue economies are Norway and Denmark. India also plans to develop a blue economy by 2030.