Creating value from a blue economy

We are studying initiatives to create economic value from sustainable marine activities based on resilient ecosystems. We will use the findings to map and model a blue economy, and support policy, decision-making and investment that stimulates resourcefulness, strengthens regional economies, encourages EBM, and underpins sustainable use of our seas.

Project leader: Nick Lewis, University of Auckland

Building up New Zealand’s blue economy

In recent years, advocates for sustainable oceans have focused attention on building a sustainable ‘blue economy’, where innovative practices that promote and sustain diverse industries are based on resilient marine ecosystems.

We are studying New Zealand-based initiatives to create economic value from sustainable marine practices and activities. We have considered five broad and overlapping marine sub-economies (iwi, techno-science, commodity, community, and small business), and are investigating connections between them. The initiatives are often at the point where these economies overlap.

For example, applying techno-science to wild or farmed fish and shellfish to develop higher value food; efforts to create value from waste; developing and adopting new environmental and ethical quality standards; promoting business models that dovetail with EBM decision-making; having a spread of diverse economy activities within communities; new forms of collective regional groups; and developing new aquaculture industries centred around restoration efforts.

We are studying the format, extent and potential of these value-creating initiatives. We will use the findings to:

  • Map and model a novel and sustainable blue economy
  • Support policy, decision-making and investment that stimulates resourcefulness, strengthens regional economies, encourages EBM, and underpins sustainable use of our seas

This work will also help position New Zealand as a leader in the world’s growing blue economy.

Latest news and updates

Sustainable Seas features on Ocean Bounty S2 EP7

Sir Rob Fenwick,  our Chairman was interviewed about Sustainable Seas on S2 EP7 of Ocean Bounty. You can watch it here on TV 3 on demand.  (6.57 to 11.20).  

Consultation opens re 2019–2024 strategy

Improving marine management is critical to New Zealand's future health and wealth, but research in isolation is not enough. Excellent engagement with, and participation from, all users and sectors of society is essential.

We therefore invite comment on our draft strategy for Phase II (2019–2024). This strategy has been co-developed with Māori and stakeholders.

Sun, sea, sand – and marine science

During Seaweek, more than 4,600 school pupils joined 6 Sustainable Seas researchers for 3 days of marine science fieldwork in Tasman Bay, as part of the LEARNZ virtual field trip Sustainable seas – essential for New Zealand’s health and wealth.