Marine Biotechnology

Enabling Solutions for Ocean Productivity and Sustainability

image of Marine Biotechnology

This report considers the potential of marine biotechnology to contribute to economic and social prosperity by making use of recent advances in science and technology. It discusses scientific and technological tools at the centre of a renewed interest in marine biotechnology, contributing to a new bioeconomy sector in many countries, and offering potential new solutions to global challenges. It also examines how these advances are improving our understanding of marine life and facilitating access to, and study of, marine organisms and ecosystems, and it considers the largely untapped potential of these bioresources.

This promise is considered alongside the challenges associated with the development of these resources which exist with complex ecosystems and fluidly distributed in a vast, largely shared environment. The report makes the case for a new global framework for the sustainable development of marine biotechnology and identifies some areas that will benefit from focused attention as governments develop policies to support it. In addition to this prospective view, this report identifies some early policy lessons learned by the governments which are leading attempts to benefit from bioresources.


Executive summary

Interest in marine biotechnology has grown as a result of scientific advances that have increased our knowledge of marine biodiversity and the development of technology and tools to access and study marine organisms and ecosystems. Knowledge of marine life is expanding rapidly as new species are discovered and as the complexity and biodiversity of marine organisms and ecosystems is better recognised. Marine bioresources hold great potential as a source of novel products and processes yet remain largely untapped. The application of biotechnology to these resources may help to address the global challenges of food, energy security and health and contribute to green growth and sustainable industries. At the same time, the conditions for maintaining a sustainable relationship between the conservation and use of marine bioresources is becoming better understood.


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