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Blue growth - unlocking the potential of seas and oceans

Time for a sea change in ocean management


02 Jul 2014

Today’s fisheries sector hosts a multibillion dollar industry that is a vital source of food and nutrition, employment, trade, economic wellbeing and recreation.

What is blue growth?

The concept of a "blue economy" came out of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference and emphasizes conservation and sustainable management, based on the premise that healthy ocean ecosystems are more productive and a must for sustainable ocean-based economies.

To support a shift to this new approach, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative, through which it will assist countries in developing and implementing blue economy and growth agendas.

Why blue growth?

Blue growth looks to further harness the potential of oceans, seas and coasts to:

  • Eliminate harmful fishing practices and overfishing and instead incentivize approaches which promote growth, improve conservation, build sustainable fisheries and end illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
  • Ensure tailor-made measures that foster cooperation between countries
  • Act as a catalyst for policy development, investment and innovation in support of food security, poverty reduction, and the sustainable management of aquatic resources.

How will it be implemented?

  • Aquaculture – promote policies and good practices for farming of fish, shellfish and marine plants in a responsible and sustainable manner
  • Capture fisheries – support implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and related instruments to restore fish stocks, combat IUU and promote good fish production practices and growth in a sustainable manner
  • Seafood systems – promote efficient seafood value chains and improved livelihoods
  • Eco-system services – Promote regulatory regimes and approaches to restore vital coastal habitats, biodiversity and eco-system services (incl. carbon capture, storm and wave defenses, tourism etc).

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