Blue Economy & Society
For some countries, a blue economy is viewed as a vehicle for the expansion and intensification of extractive activities, to support economic growth. For other countries, blue economies are developing with a clear ethic to represent and serve the society within which it is enacted and with a view to ensuring marine resources are resilient and available for future generations.
The global progression of blue economies raises many challenges. These centre around how to move away from ‘business as usual’ modes of governance where profit is prioritised, there is a lack of join-up across management of different sectors of ocean use, and historically marginalised and excluded groups are unable to participate in decision-making. Strategies are needed that embed principles of sustainability and justice, and allow for equitable participation across the full spectrum of society to ensure that blue economies are developed for the many and not the few.
We are researching ways in which blue economies are developing and seek to understand how these models relate to global commitments to sustainability and human rights. We are also researching strategies to support representative participation in the governance of the blue economy. This research focusses on ensuring that the myriad connections and values of the ocean, including those often excluded such as cultural significance, are included within ocean governance. Our research will demonstrate the benefits of sustainable and just models for the blue economy and how they can be achieved. Our results will guide developing, and challenge existing, models that do not serve all of society, current and future.