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Rahul Kumar asked: What is the difference between Maritime Economy and Blue Economy? Is Maritime Economy a subset of Blue Economy?

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  • Abhay Kumar Singh replies: The ‘maritime economy’ is a representative term used for economic activities and industries that utilise ocean resources in a production process or produce a product or service. The terminology related to the maritime economy is used differently around the world, including such terms as “ocean economy”, “ocean industry”, “marine economy”, “marine industry”, “marine activity” and “maritime sector”.

    The maritime economy can be economic activities that directly or indirectly take place ‘in the ocean’, ‘from the ocean’ to use the ocean’s outputs and ‘to the ocean’ to put goods and services into the ocean activity. In the ocean economic activities include maritime transport, cruise ships, offshore oil and gas exploration & production (E&P), fisheries, aquaculture, and so on. From the ocean industries include coastal tourism, marine bio-industry, marine chemical industry, and seafood processing. To the ocean activities include ship and boat building, marine business services, marine equipment manufacturing, and so on.

    While ‘maritime economy’ or other equivalent terms relating to the economic use of oceanic resources have been in vogue since long, the term ‘blue economy’ is relatively recent and originated from growing global concern about the degradation of ocean environment due to unsustainable utilisation of ocean resources in maritime economic activities and industries. The blue economy emphasises imperatives for the development of oceanic economic activities in an integrated and sustainable manner and aims to separate socio-economic development from environmental degradation. It focuses on capturing potential synergies and managing the trade-offs across industries to better address the growing threats now confronting oceans, and particularly those posed by climate change.

    The emphasis on the blue economy has brought about transformational changes in maritime economic processes with the incorporation of environmentally sustainable practices in compliance with standards and norms prescribed by national, regional and international regulatory authorities. In essence, the maritime economy and the blue economy are synonymous in the contemporary context. 

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.

    Posted on August 21, 2020

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