WHAT IS BLUE GROWTH ?

 

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Humpback wales are dying from plastic pollution

 

MARINE LIFE - This humpback whale is one example of a magnificent animal that is at the mercy of human activity. Humans are for the most part unaware of the harm their fast-lane lifestyles are causing. We aim to change that by doing all we can to promote ocean literacy.

 

 

Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. The 'blue' economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year in the European area alone. In 2014, the ocean economy in the U.S., which included six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes, contributed more than $352 billion to their GDP and supported 3.1 million jobs. 

 

Such figures will be equally significant for Africa, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South America and all around the globe. Further growth is possible internationally in a number of identified area with the appropriate incentives.

 

Thanks to the efforts of the EU European Commission, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Ocean Commission and others the term "blue growth" is now accepted internationally with the objectives and criteria being acted on by almost all stakeholder nations who may benefit from embracing points 5-10 below.

 

BLUE GROWTH STRATEGY

 

Blue growth strategy is the latest thinking to grow our ocean economy for a sustainable future world where there is food and energy security for every country and jobs for those who want to work on or in the sea. Hence, "blue" refers to water and "growth" refers to economics.

 

Generally, "Blue Growth" is not location specific and there is no international strategy, plan, agreement or fund to work to this end. Instead, each region has its own local agenda and areas of effort and concentrates on making their patch better with pockets of funding available for specific projects - as relate to targeted geographical areas. The good news is that the concept is spreading with the work of many organizations like the United Nations FAO, getting the message across to many member administrations. The UN's FAO in particular and the World Bank support location specific projects.

 

Ultimately, blue growth is about gains the world over. An example of this is where improvements in ocean chemistry will benefit all nations due to the currents that continuously stir up and distribute polluted acid water around the globe - so that non-polluting regions who are keeping their patch clean are now dirty for no fault of their own - and there is no compensation mechanism for the clean nations to make a claim of the dirty administrations - where pollution from the untidy culprits reaches the shores of another.

 

 

Blue growth call H2020-BG-2018-2020 European Commission

 

 

MAIN BLOCKERS

 

We are facing four major problems that seriously hinder blue growth:

 

 1.  Ocean Pollution - poisons wild fish, also the source of feed for aquaculture

 2.  Over Fishing - depletes wild fish stocks, threatening food security & productive fisheries

 3.  Climate Change - ocean acidification & fish migration

 4.  Over Population - demands more fish than the oceans can at present provide

 

MAIN GROWTH AREAS

 

 5.  Ocean Regeneration - cleaning our oceans to preserve the resource and cleanse the toxic food chain

 6.  Aquaculture - now generates around 50% of world produce, mostly subject to wild fish feed

 7.  Ocean Energy - offshore wind and wave energy for clean power

 8.  Biotechnology - Identifying, harvesting and producing medicines

 9.  Coastal Tourism - To engage the public in ocean matters and reduce air travel

10. Green Ships - Cargo and cruise ships that are cleaner, preferably zero carbon

 

Which one of these is the most important for you depends on your point of view, but all potential solutions that stand a chance of returning us to a sustainable society, depend on every one of us to recognise the problems and do something about it if that is within your graso - and that is an Ocean Literacy issue - the problem being that most people on earth are not aware that this is a serious problem. Hence, the lack of awareness is a big stumbling block, triggering  the Miss Ocean and World Aquariums: Our Ocean campaigns.

 

 

 

 

1. OCEAN POLLUTION

 

By loading up the oceans with plastics, oil and other pollutants we are harming the marine life that we rely on for food, where food security is vital to stability and there are more mouths to feed every day from diminishing agricultural and aqua-cultural resources.

 

Is it possible to clean the (global) ocean up?

 

At the moment deep sea trash deposits look as if they a there to stay, but there is hope that vehicles like SeaVax™ can make an impact on surface litter and soups and so significantly slow deep sea deposits. At the moment this is just a dream for the team at the Cleaner Ocean Foundation, but with suitable funding to construct a prototype SeaVax™ the Foundation would be prepared to put theory into practice - and have already begun planning to build in the hope that support for this valuable research is forthcoming as part of the UN's Agenda 2030 sustainability drive.

 

 

 

MARINE LIFE - Join us at #BetterOffBlue17 to create synergies for a biobased society!

Following the launch of the SUBMARINER Roadmap during the 1st SUBMARINER Conference in Gdańsk in September 2013, the 2nd SUBMARINER Conference will make the most of this activity by:

• Uniting the actors working for progress towards a blue bioeconomy and biobased society in the Baltic Sea Region; 

• Showcasing advances, create synergies and stimulate active cooperation between the multitude of ongoing projects under the SUBMARINER Network umbrella and beyond; 
• Offering an excellent matchmaking opportunity with time for structured and informal networking; 
• Positioning the Network, its stakeholders and actions with a view to the European Commission’s Implementation Strategy for Blue Growth in the Baltic Sea Region and look beyond the BSR to the European and global context.

The conference is organised jointly by the SUBMARINER Network and the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas Schleswig-Holstein in the framework of Baltic Blue Growth.

 

Confirmed keynote speakers include: Bernhard Friess, Director for Maritime Policy and Blue Economy, Directorate-General Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission; Jakob Granit, Director General, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management; Christine Lang, Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council and member of the Baltic Sea Region Bioeconomy Panel.

 

 

2. OVER FISHING

 

In an effort to feed the growing population we are plundering the ocean depths with giant trawler nets causing serious damage to ocean ecology and wild fish stocks. We must regulate industrial scale fishing by imposing serious financial penalties and boat confiscations if that is the only way to prevent unauthorized catches. Diesel subsidies for large trawlers should be banned and fines imposed for damage to the seabed.

 

Fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly and economist Ussif Rashid Sumaila have examined subsidies paid to bottom trawl fleets around the world. They found that US$152 million per year are paid to deep-sea fisheries. Without these subsidies, global deep-sea fisheries would operate at a loss of $50 million a year. A great deal of the subsidies paid to deep-sea trawlers is to subsidize the large amount of fuel required to travel beyond the 200-mile limit and drag weighted nets.

 

"There is surely a better way for governments to spend money than by paying subsidies to a fleet that burns 1.1 billion litres of fuel annually to maintain paltry catches of old growth fish from highly vulnerable stocks, while destroying their habitat in the process" – Pauly.

"Eliminating global subsidies would render these fleets economically unviable and would relieve tremendous pressure on over-fishing and vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems" – Sumaila.

 

The logical conclusion is that diesel fuel subsidies are counter to blue growth.

 

Is it possible to prevent over fishing?

 

It is almost impossible to prevent illegal catches even with the rules for offshore fisherman and the quota system, and shore catch limits for anglers. Trawlers present a huge problem and by-catch, but with persistent monitoring, a reduction in harmful subsidies and improved technology, progress can be made.

 

Source: Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2017/66

 

 

 

 

3. CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Climate change is affecting the chemistry of our oceans, melting the ice caps and potentially placing the whole planet in a crisis 'burn out' situation with a sulfur build up that is reducing reflection of solar radiation creating a feedback loop that warms the earth more. We simply must change our energy usage patterns to do all we can to reduce harmful emissions. 

 

What we need is greener vehicles for both land and sea transport. We also need green energy for our factories and homes, where air conditioning to cool houses and shops consumes large amounts of energy that should be offset with micro and macro generation schemes.

 

4. OVER POPULATION

 

There is not much anyone can do to prevent population increases where humans are biologically programmed to procreate, other than offer educational support and contraception advice or even free contraceptives, where 'Human Rights' freedoms take precedence. That is why points 1-3 are so very important. In effect, we need to recondition the planet to allow for human expansion in circular economy fashion in the hope of achieving population equilibrium that does not displace other life on earth or lead to World War Three annihilation; hence the militaristic term: Food Security.

 

 

http://www.emff-now-and-then.eu/register.html

 

 

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 

Blue Growth is part of what is the drive for a Circular Economy. Blue growth is about more than just fishing as you may at first imagine. Blue growth encompasses:

 

* Aquaculture: That is more about producing more fish, rather than producing high value fish from low value fish

* Biomedicines: Derived from ocean produce
* Coastal Tourism:

* Fishing: Reducing back-catches and over fishing

* Green Cruise Ships: Solar and/or wind powered

* Green Cargo Ships: Zero emission transport

* Marine Innovation: Better ways of doing things

* Marine Technology: Machines, robotics, satellites 

* Marine Research: Exploring and understanding our oceans
* Ocean Energy: Tidal, Wave & Wind

* Ocean Regeneration: Cleaning up toxic waste
* Seabed Mining: Calling a halt to damaging exploitation while encouraging sensitive harvesting

* Waste reduction: Reducing dumping in our oceans and seas

The Cleaner Ocean Foundation is concerned with zero emission ocean transport and (technology) research and development that leads to cleaning up our oceans - so promoting Blue Growth.

 

 

 

 

In reality, 'blue growth' is better described as: "Blue Green Growth." And the reason for this is because in order to be sustainable a transition to clean technology is needed.

 

A CIRCULAR ECONOMY - Where our Foundation is all about conservation aiming for a truly Circular Economy, we will be looking at ways of using green energy to boost blue growth along with ways of working on land to reduce the waste that we dispose of in the sea.

 

On this subject, responsible packaging and waste disposal on land is the obvious place to start where developed countries could and should have a comprehensive cradle-to-grave waste collection and treatment scheme, or where packaging is designed from the outset to be ocean friendly - to cater for the inevitable.

 

 

 

 

OCEAN LITERACY - It is not that corporations will not work to this end, it is more that the owners of many organizations and their shareholders have not yet realized the harm that their current practices are causing, or that there is no real benefit from change, where change is costly and at the moment there is little in the way of replacement packaging. In the corporate world profitability reigns supreme. Anything that reduces profits, even change itself, may reduce dividends - and that is avoided by managers who fear for their jobs.

 

Knowing about the dangers and the public's reaction to potentially carcinogenic ocean pollution is one reason for corporations to change because in such cases it can be more profitable to adopt change that the buying public would endorse, the problem being that most of the public are unfamiliar with ocean matters - hence the term: 'Ocean Literate.' If the majority of people on planet earth are not Ocean Literate, then a change for corporations is that much less attractive. If the general public were Ocean Literate, we would not have plastic gyres in the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans without a general outcry.

 

The fact that these gyres have only recently been discovered is another factor. What you cannot see is not in your mind and ocean plastic (soup) is not visible to the naked eye, whereas the rivers of waste in Asia that dump plastic waste into the Indian and Pacific oceans is highly visible. Why then is nothing being done about recycling this waste in less developed regions? It all comes down to money.

 

OCEAN CLEANING - Where dumping in the ocean is unlikely to cease altogether for many years to come, it makes sense to develop technology to deal with the fast that there is waste in the water and more pouring in every day.

 

Can we feed the world using aquaculture?

 

DWINDLING FISH STOCKS - Food security is a major problem the world will have to face as the available land for to grow crops reduces in competition with land for housing, as the population expands. The situation is far from sustainable and a bubble that will burst. When the bubble bursts it will cause the deaths of millions of people, where additional farming will create more carbon dioxide to heat the climate, making more land barren in a vicious circle that we must take steps to prevent happening.

 

Around 10% of the world (700,000,000 million people) rely on the ocean for food, but in addition to our poor land management record, we are also polluting the seven seas with plastic that is toxic - so reducing the number of fish that we might harvest for food.

 

 

POLLUTION - The use of plastic for packaging is just one horrifying example of major stakeholders using the most convenient means to get their product to market, while ocean literate policy makers watch marine life suffer as they grapple with ways to juggle economics and morals, hoping for a miracle to make these problems go away. We will be looking at the best projects that are aiming to tackle ocean waste, to include Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup Project and the SeaVax Cleaner Oceans campaign. These potential retrospective remedies are important, along with upstream projects that aim to reduce the plastic and other chemicals that we dispose of in our oceans, such as that of Prince Charles and Dame Ellen MacArthur.

 

SUSTAINABLE FISHING - We will also be encouraging the development of fishing technology that hold out hope for not only monitoring catches, but also significantly reducing back catches with more accurate filtration that is intelligent to some degree, such as that proposed by altering the parameters of the SeaVax concept so that instead of targeting plastic, the vessel may target shrimps, sardines and krill.

 

 

The European Union via their Commission are leading the charge for healthier oceans and economics

 

TAKING THE BULL BY HE HORNS - The EU have been leading the charge for cleaner oceans for a number of years. In 2008 they created European Maritime Day, that has turned into an event to share ideas and stimulate innovation. The next event will be hosted in Bulgaria at Burgas in 2018.

 

 

GREEN TRANSPORT - Climate change is another major issue, with cargo ships and cruise liners causing appalling harm to our oceans as they burn dirty fuels at sea with the exhaust fumes being a major contributor to acid oceans. Cargo ships and cruise liners could and should be solar and wind powered like the SeaVax ocean cleaning drone, rather than diesel engine propelled.

 

One of the reasons that shipping should be near zero emission is that the technology exists to make this possible - provided that it is developed. This might mean slower cruise ships and longer waits for cargo to begin with, but even there, cruising is not about speed and the planning for the transport of goods could be better planned to buffer for longer transit times.

 

One of the longer term aims of the Cleaner Ocean Foundation is to promote clean shipping in a manner that is not as disruptive as freight and cruise operators might think - on the basis that informed buyers would not mind waiting a little while longer for goods if they knew it was needed to protect the oceans - rather than abuse the oceans. Once again, it all comes down to being Ocean Literate.

 

 

Rose Dawson holding the Heart Of The Ocean diamond necklace

 

HAVE A HEART - Symbolic of our love of the ocean, this famous necklace inspired the team who are producing the Miss and Mister Ocean competitions when designing the crowns.

 

 

The Cleaner Oceans Foundation will be publishing news articles on this website and compiling a list of Blue Growth projects in the hope of stimulating:

 

* Policy Makers

* Marine Innovators, and 

* Responsible Corporations 

 

To incubate ideas today, for a brighter blue economy tomorrow.

 

As a priority we must halt the build up of trash in our back yard, examples of which are in remote regions that were previously unspoiled such as the Arctic beaches and Henderson Island.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://betteroffblue17.b2match.io/

www.noc.ac.uk/news/ocean-circulation-can-impact-effectiveness-marine-protected-areas

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13437-016-0104-x

https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/policy/skills-career-development_en

 

 

 

THE INDEPENDENT HENDERSON ISLAND -  Beaches of a remote British island in the South Pacific are littered with an estimated 37.7 million pieces of plastic, scientists have discovered.

The level of plastic pollution at uninhabited Henderson Island, part of the UK's Pitcairn Islands territory, is worse than anywhere else in the world.

Investigators visiting the island found up to 671 items of plastic on every square metre (10 sq ft) of its otherwise pristine beaches.

Henderson Island was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1988.

The 3,700 hectare (9,142 acres) island is 3,100 miles (5,000km) away from the nearest major population centre and has one of the world's best preserved raised coral atolls.

It also happens to be near the centre of the South Pacific Gyre, a circular ocean current that gathers together man-made debris carried from South America and deposited by fishing boats.

“Research has shown that more than 200 species are known to be at risk from eating plastic, and 55 per cent of the world's sea birds, including two species found on Henderson Island, are at risk from marine debris.”

More than 300 million tonnes of plastic produced worldwide each year is not recycled, Dr Jennifer Lavers is quoted as saying.

“Based on our sampling at five sites we estimated that more than 17 tonnes of plastic debris has been deposited on the island, with more than 3,570 new pieces of litter washing up each day on one beach alone.

“It's likely that our data actually underestimates the true amount of debris on Henderson Island as we were only able to sample pieces bigger than two millimetres down to a depth of 10cm, and we were unable to sample along cliffs and rocky coastline.” 

 

Researchers at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) have found that, because of the ocean’s vigorous circulation, even remote, seemingly pristine habitats, are not isolated from human activities, and may be vulnerable to pollution and overfishing impacts.

To investigate the potential connectivity scientists at the NOC used a state-of-the-art computer simulation of large-scale ocean circulation to track where the water reaching the marine protected area has come from.

Researchers released virtual particles into the modelled ocean circulation at selected MPAs every month for ten years. They followed these backwards in time for up to a decade to determine where the water that flowed passed the MPAs had come from.

  

 

 

 

 

 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) August 2017. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.

 

 

 

 

BLUE GROWTH IS GROWING THE OCEAN ECONOMY FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD