Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Seas and oceans are drivers for the European and world economy and have great potential for innovation and growth. This new blue economy is expected to have far-reaching impacts on coastal ecosystems and communities.
This development of the marine industries will alter the anthropogenic pressures on the aquatic ecosystem with potentially positive or negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. At the same time, the emerging industries have consequences for local employment, economy and settlement, and as the livelihoods change, so will people’s dependence and valuation of the flow of benefits from the coastal ecosystem. In other words, the Blue Growth is likely to result in profound and lasting blue transitions of coastal societies and ecosystems. Therefore, a socio-ecological approach (SES) that acknowledges the close links between society and ecosystems, including the feedbacks and shifts in perceptions of what constitute a healthy and productive ocean, is accordingly crucial for addressing future sustainability challenges provoked by the Blue Growth.
-because the world’s oceans are becoming a major arena for economic growth, addressing global challenges such as food security, poverty and provision of natural resources and energy.
The coastal communities in Northern Norway are already experiencing growth in several of these sectors. The most striking development is the growth in aquaculture, which since the birth in the 1970s has become an economic pillar along the coast. In parallel, the important traditional fisheries have developed into an efficient, highly managed and mostly sustainable industry with four large oceanic migrating stocks (i.e., cod, haddock, herring and saith) representing more than 90% of the catches. That is why when speaking of an era of Blue Growth, it is of present concern on how we meet a sustainable blue future -meeting all discourses, perceptions and values.
A healthy ocean is an ocean which; sustainably delivers a range of benefits to people now and in the future.