Creating value from a blue economy
We are studying initiatives to create economic value from sustainable marine activities based on healthy ecosystems. We will use the findings to map and model a blue economy.
Project leader: Nick Lewis, University of Auckland
Duration: April 2016 – June 2019
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 healthy marine ecosystems.
We are studying Aotearoa 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. Our research is:
- Defining what a blue economy means for Aotearoa New Zealand and working with economic enterprises and agencies to ensure that its opportunities are recognised and realised.
- Ensuring that blue economy considerations are incorporated into models of ecosystem-based management.
- Identifying sites and possibilities for transitions to a blue economy.
- Identifying and supporting regional development initiatives to foster regional blue economies and develop their potential.
- Highlighting specific enterprise-level production and investment practices that are helping to bring about a blue economy.
We have found several activities that are helping Aotearoa New Zealand transition to a blue economy including: investor commitments to sustainable futures (Seafood New Zealand’s ‘Our Promise’ campaign), consumer-oriented and community education programmes; the emergence of Māori enterprises with long term and kaitiakitanga approaches to blue economy; blue economy champions (individuals and organisations) who support participatory resource management processes; and a host of practices from precision seafood harvesting to harvesting of seaweed.
Hikuroa D (2016) Dan Hikuroa looks at Maori involvement in the formation of a new plan for the Gulf. Gulf Journal, June. http://gulfjournal.org.nz/article/dan-hikuroa-looks-at-maori-involvement-in-the-formation-of-a-new-plan-for-the-gulf
Hikuroa D (2017) Mātauranga Māori—the ūkaipō of knowledge in New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. 47(1):5 DOI: 10.1080/03036758.2016.1252407
Lewis N (2017) From value as theoretical object to rent as political project. Dialogues in Human Geography 7(3):331 DOI: 10.1177/2043820617736619
Winder GM and Le Heron R (2017) Assembling a Blue Economy moment? Geographic engagement with globalizing biological-economic relations in multi-use marine environments. Dialogues in Human Geography 7(1):3 DOI: 10.1177/2043820617691643
Lewis N (2018). Cultivating diverse values by rethinking blue economy in New Zealand. Heidkamp CP and Morrissey J (eds) Towards coastal resilience and sustainability, Routledge, Oxford.
Lewis N & Le Heron R (2018). Re-imagining economy: a fundamental first step for a regenerative Environmental Management. In Clarke B & Hay I. Challenging Environmental Management, Edward Elgar.
Latest news and updates
Kaikōura community members gathered on 10 April to hear from National Science Challenge researchers who have been working in the area since the 2016 quake.
Last week (4-8 March) the Sustainable Seas team were in Nelson on a LEARNZ virtual field trip. Sustainable Seas researchers talked to students from over 100 schools around New Zealand about ecosystem-based management, kaitiakitanga of the marine environment, ecosystem services and tracking plastics in our oceans.
We are pleased to welcome Joe Harawira and Ian Ruru to the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge Kāhui Māori.