Rethinking Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

image of Rethinking Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

This new OECD report on the ocean economy emphasises the growing importance of science and technologies in improving the sustainable economic development of our seas and ocean. Marine ecosystems sit at the heart of many of the world’s global challenges: food, medicines, new sources of clean energy, climate regulation, job creation and inclusive growth. But we need to safeguard and improve the health of marine ecosystems to support our ever-growing use of marine resources. Innovation in science and technology will play a key role in reconciling these two objectives. This report identifies three priority areas for action based on a number of in-depth case studies: 1) approaches that produce win-win outcomes for ocean business and the ocean environment across a range of marine and maritime applications; 2) the creation of ocean-economy innovation networks; and 3) new pioneering initiatives to improve measurement of the ocean economy.



Executive summary

Development of the ocean economy is facing an increasingly acute dilemma. On the one hand, marine resources are essential to help meet the planet’s growing needs in food, energy, jobs, medicines, transport and so on. On the other, increasing use of our seas and ocean, the natural resources and the services they provide, adds to mounting pressures on marine ecosystems. The marine environment is already straining under the weight of pollution, rising water temperatures, loss of biodiversity, rising sea levels, growing acidification and other impacts associated with climate change, with the result that unsustainable growth in ocean-related economic activity risks yet further undermining the very foundations on which the ocean economy stands.


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