Blue Economy in the Caribbean Region
What is blue economy?
The concept of blue economy comprises economic activities that directly take place in the ocean and seas, or use outputs from the sea for consumption or as a source of income. For example, many of the activities that make up the blue economy such as fisheries, marine transport, marine and coastal tourism, offshore wind energy.
Blue economy emphasizes the sustainable use of natural resources in the world’s oceans, seas and coastal areas.
Did you know that?
- The ocean influences the livelihoods of about 40% of the world’s population living at or near the coast, and its contribution to current and future economic growth is significant. 
- Global ocean-based activities are estimated to have generated USD1.5 trillion (tn) and directly provided 31 million (mn) jobs in 2010, primarily in fisheries, maritime and coastal tourism, offshore oil and gas exploration, and port activities. 
- By 2030, it is estimated that based on current trajectories, the ocean’s value-added will rise by USD3 tn, with employment rising to over 40 mn. 
- The total value of key ocean assets is estimated at approximately USD24 trillion tn based on the ocean’s earning capacity through “direct outputs (fishing, aquaculture), services (tourism, education) trade and transport (coastal and oceanic shipping) and adjacent benefits (carbon sequestration, biotechnology)”
Sources:  Caribbean Development Bank, 2018. Financing the Blue Economy: A Caribbean Development Opportunity;  OECD. (2016). The ocean economy in 2030;  Hoegh-Guldberg, O. et al. 2015. Reviving the Ocean Economy: the case for action – 2015. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland., Geneva, 60 pp
The concept of the blue economy rests on these main themes:
- Sustainable and inclusive growth and development
- Reducing the risk of overexploitation and risky methods of extraction/usage of the ocean’s resources
- Enhancing the welfare of coastline communities in terms of economic opportunities and social protection
- Ensuring resilience of countries to natural disasters and the impact of climate change.
Towards a Caribbean Blue Economy
While a number of initiatives can be highlighted within the Caribbean, the scope and scale remains below full potential, mainly because the blue economy has not been formally recognised as an important economic driver.
One regional initiative which speaks directly to blue economy development is the Caribbean Regional Ocean scape Project, a collaboration between the OECS Commission and the World Bank. The project is focused on preserving and strengthening the “resilience of coastal and marine resources, and implementation of regional policies to stimulate blue growth”.
Within the OECS, Grenada is at the forefront of this economic transformation, having articulated a Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan, which identifies opportunities for blue growth development in areas such as fisheries and aquaculture, aquaponics, blue biotechnology, research and innovation