What Is the Blue Economy Initiative? 

November 7, 2022 12:30 pm

Living on the coast of Massachusetts puts Baystaters in a unique position to utilize the power of the sea for economic advancement while also protecting the environment that also sustains us. 

Our oceans are home to millions of species, and the water serves as a carbon sink for our carbon emissions. This vital asset to our livelihood (and lives) is also an essential source of food and acts as an enabler of global trade. From these concepts has emerged the idea of the Blue Economy. Let’s explore this further and how this is a critical part of our economy in Massachusetts. 

Crane Beach

What Is The Blue Economy? 

While the definition of this terminology varies from organization to organization, the basic premise is the same. The Blue economy is a term in economics relating to the preservation and regeneration of the marine environment.

Conservation International states that “At its simplest, ‘blue economy’ refers to the range of economic uses of the ocean and coastal resources — such as energy, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, and tourism. It also includes economic benefits that may not be marketed, such as carbon storage, coastal protection, cultural values, and biodiversity.”

The ocean used to be considered so vast and its resources so infinite that we would never be able to fully use or exploit its endless benefits. Due to industrialized fishing and climate change, this is no longer the case. The oceans are now viewed as something that we can harness in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. 

What Is the Blue Economy Initiative on the North Shore?

The North Shore has a longstanding connection to the blue economy, and in coordination with the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Earth and Sustainability, the Gloucester Marine Station is building and implementing a sustainable and resilient blue economy ecosystem on the North Shore. Their goal over the next ten years is to build upon the numerous strengths of the region including fishing, marine and life sciences, tourism, and technology.

Communities that rely on coastal and marine assets and resources for their livelihoods and jobs rely on the Blue Economy. A sustainable blue economy generates economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while at the same time fostering ocean ecosystem health. The North Shore’s history, livelihoods, and culture are built around the quality of life, beauty, food, and access that the ocean provides.

To find out more about the Blue Economy visit the Blue Economy Initiative


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