Environment

Ocean economy set to double in size by 2030

With more sustainable development, the economy can touch over US $ 3.2 trillion by 2030, according to an OECD report

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 29 April 2016

The world’s oceans must be managed well to ensure the potential of an “ocean economy” that was worth US $ 1.5 trillion in 2010. With more sustainable development, it can more than double in size to touch over US $ 3.2 trillion by 2030, according to a new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.

The Ocean Economy in 2030 report values economic output from the oceans at 2.5 per cent of the world gross value added.

Off-shore oil and gas made up a third of the total, followed by tourism, maritime equipment and ports. The ocean economy provided 31 million jobs in 2010, mostly in industrial capture fisheries (a third of the total), coastal and maritime tourism (a quarter of the total), industrial fish processing, maritime equipment and marine aquaculture.

The rapid expansion of traditional and emerging ocean-based industries as demand rises for marine sources of food, energy, minerals and leisure pursuits means that oceans should boost employment and drive economic growth.

Areas such as marine aquaculture, off-shore wind farms, fish processing and ports are set to create millions of jobs in future. Oceans also hold great potential for meeting the need for new sources of food, renewable energy and environmentally-friendly trade transport.

The bad news is that oceans are already suffering from over-exploitation, declining biodiversity, acidification and pollution.

Growth in industries such as seabed mining and off-shore wind and marine biotechnology will put even more pressure on ocean resources and space.

Using primary data sources on ocean activities, the report finds that the ocean economy will stand at more than US $ 3.2 trillion in 2030 under a more sustainable scenario, at US $ 3 trillion under a business-as-usual scenario and US $ 2.8 billion under an unsustainable scenario. The difference between the scenarios would grow over time.

The world’s ocean and seas hold the promise of immense resource wealth. Moreover, they are increasingly being recognised as indispensable for addressing many global challenges facing the planet in the decades to come—from world food security and climate change to the provision of energy, natural resources and improved medical care.

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