What is Blue Economy?
During my 2 weeks internship at Seychelles Air Force and Seychelles Coast guard I have been asked this question several times. Many of us hear it everyday but still do not have a clue what it’s really about. I personally think it is when we use the many resources available in the sea in a sustainable manner in order to develop and improve the economy.
Resources may include from living organism to oil or even salt. Such resources are vital to our survival and we have been using it for many years. However we do not realise that someday some of those resources may finish or become extinct if we over exploit or simply by our everyday actions that help contribute to global warming.
Why do we have to bother about the Blue Economy?
As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, Seychelles has an Exclusive Economic zone about six times the size of the United Kingdom and to add on it, it is slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington DC. The bigger the size, the potential for more resources and as for Seychelles it is mostly water than land. So imagine the large number of resources we have in our ocean and most are yet to be discovered. In fact according to National Geographic “which I like watching so much” we have been able to identify only 10 percent of the species in the world’s oceans. That tells us that we have enormous opportunities from our ocean yet to benefit from thus I personally encourage further explorations but definitely in a sustainable way.
Do we all benefit?
To answer this question we must think about how we benefit from the Blue economy. One of the most obvious examples is a fisherman who goes out everyday and fish to sell it afterwards. So he/she directly benefits from one of the oceans resources to make a living, but who does he/she sell it too? The consumers are us, thus we have also benefited.
What about our economy?
By using our own resources in our ocean which is accessible for free, we do not need to import thus saving a lot of money. In addition if I take the example of IOT (Indian Ocean Tuna), they export the tuna which has been taken from our ocean thus bringing money into the country.
Why is it now that it is being stressed on?
During the years human beings have exploited many of the earth’s resources both on land and in water but due to the oceans being mostly inaccessible to us we have missed a lot of potential resources from our oceans. So since the earth has more water than land does our oceans contains more resources than on land alone? If that’s the case then imagine how much this would solve many of the world’s issues including famine, malnutrition’s or even poverty. Yes!!! Poverty also can be solved. The fisherman I mentioned before would not have a living if he/she did not have access to the ocean, thus our ocean’s resources can provide many and many jobs for people all around the world. Having a free source of nutrient also allows us to spend less on buying other expensive goods which decreases the amount of money each of us needs to survive. Did you know that we can also find minerals such as copper and nickel in our oceans? The ocean is literally the richest place on earth as most of its resources are yet to be touched. Imagine the Somali pirates gaining access to such materials. This would end the need for them to do any piracy, but how can Somalia be located near the ocean and yet it is still one of the poorest country on earth? There are many answers one can give but this shows that more effort has to be taken to educate people about the ways in which one can benefit from the ocean and its many resources.
While I was doing my internship at coast guard I learned that sea water is being used to cool down the engines of their boats. I’m sure that’s the case with many boats nowadays; however this shows us that our ocean can be useful to us in many ways, in ways yet to be discovered.
Imagine if we are able to discover and achieve all the things that I’ve mentioned in this blog, Will it really solve many of our problems?
Written by Daryl Onezime