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Issue No:82
  • :0973–1121
  • :February
  • :2020

Samudra Report No.82, February 2020


Tangled up in blue

Healthy oceans and coastal communities cannot exist without investments in the long-term sustainability, social development and values of small-scale fisheries

The importance of oceans to sustainable development has always been recognized in international processes. It is articulated in Agenda 21 (1992), the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002) and the 2012 Rio+20 outcome document titled The Future We Want. Concern for the deteriorating health of the oceans culminated in a dedicated goal to conserve and sustainably use marine resources in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Simultaneously, technological innovation, merged with global capital’s perennial pursuit of new avenues for investment, has led many to see the oceans as Earth’s last economic frontier. In 2016, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projected that by 2030, the ‘Blue Economy’—a collective term for all economic sectors with a direct or indirect link to the ocean—could outperform the growth of the global economy as a whole. In various formulations by multilateral agencies, national governments and the private sector, this ocean economy includes both old uses of coastal and marine resources (food provisioning, marine...

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