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Ocean resource use

8. Deep Aspirations

Towards a sustainable offshore blue economy

Summary

The ocean economy is experiencing rapid growth that will provide benefits but will also pose environmental and social risks. With limited space and degraded resources in coastal areas, offshore waters will be a particular focus of Blue Economy expansion over the next decade. When emerging and established economic sectors expand in offshore waters (within national Exclusive Economic Zones), different potential Blue Economy opportunities and challenges will arise. Following a series of interdisciplinary workshops, we imagine two technically possible futures for the offshore Blue Economy and we identify the actions required to achieve the more sustainable outcome. Under a business as usual scenario the focus will remain on economic growth, the commodification of nature, the dominance of private over public and cultural interests, and prioritisation of the interests of current over future generations. A more sustainable scenario would meet multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals and ensure inclusive economic developments, environmental sustainability, and fair and equitable access to resources and technologies across users, nations, and generations. Challenges to this more sustainable future are a lack of infrastructure and technology to support emerging offshore sectors, limited understanding of environmental impacts, inequitable outcomes, and a lack of planning and governmental oversight. Addressing these challenges will require a shift in societal values, a more balanced allocation of funding to offshore activities, transparency in information sharing between industries and across nations, and adjustment of international legal and institutional mechanisms. The sustainable and equitable offshore Blue Economy we envisage is achievable and provides a unique opportunity to build global capacity and partnership.

Infographic

Lead Investigators

Camilla Novaglio

Camilla Novaglio

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / CMS

Narissa Bax

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / CMS

Anchor

Beth Fulton

CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere/ CMS / Blue Economy CRC

Co-Authors

Meet our fellow team members who contribute to the success of this project.
Fabio Boschetti

Fabio Boschetti

Lucy Robinson

Lucy Robinson

Oceans Institute & Oceans Graduate School, The University of Western Australia / CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Liam Fullbrook

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania / CMS / PandIR UTAS
Erica Spain

Erica Spain

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies / Antarctic Gateway Partnership

Michelle Voyer

Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security / University of Wollongong

Joanna Vince

Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
Stewart Frusher

Stewart Frusher

Sarah Jennings

Graham Wood

Graham Wood

CMS

Mark Hemer

Ingrid van Putten

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere / CMS

Gholam Reza Emad

UTAS, AMC

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FUTURE SEAS is a unique collaboration , spear-headed by the Centre for Marine Socioecology, of over 100 researchers from the University of Tasmania (UTAS), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and other institutions
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