Who Is in and Who Is out in Ocean Economies Development?

Type Article
Date 2023-02
Language English
Author(s) Cavallo MariannaORCID1, 2, Bugeja Said Alicia3, Pérez Agúndez José A.ORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, University of Western Brittany, CNRS, UMR 6308, AMURE, Unité d’Economie Maritime, IUEM, F-29280 Plouzané, France
2 : IRD, University of Western Brittany, CNRS, Ifremer, UMR 6539, LEMAR, Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Environnement Marin, IUEM, F-29280 Plouzané, France
3 : Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, VLT 1455 Valletta, Malta
Source Sustainability (2071-1050) (MDPI AG), 2023-02 , Vol. 15 , N. 4 , P. 3253 (17p.)
DOI 10.3390/su15043253
WOS© Times Cited 1
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Blue Economy and Marine Management
Keyword(s) blue economy, blue growth, inclusiveness, local communities, marine governance

This review engages with the ongoing blue economy debate to decipher old and emerging forms of economic, institutional, physical and social exclusions of local communities and vulnerable societies that may result from the development of ocean projects and policies across the globe. The results of this scientific and policy review show that, whereas for some traditional maritime activities such as fisheries, the drivers of exclusion are well studied and somehow addressed in policies, for other emerging sectors, such as ocean energies or deep-sea mining, there is a lack of understanding on how to recognise and prevent the different forms of exclusion. Exclusion is likely to occur when decisions are taken at the highest level of governance to achieve national or international targets of economic growth, food safety, clean energy or leisure, with little consideration of the effects on local economic, social and environmental contexts. On the other hand, when the principles of inclusiveness are given due consideration, they prove to be beneficial for the societies’ well-being, increasing the chance of long-term social acceptability. We conclude that, to embrace inclusiveness, both governments and industries have to (a) go beyond the capitalist commodification of nature and recognise benefits other than the economic ones, namely, emotional, cultural and spiritual; (b) promote initiatives that fulfil local needs in the first place and are adapted to local contexts; (c) cooperate with local institutions and stakeholders to promote the co-management of resources and adaptive development. Likewise, research institutions, funding organisations and governmental agencies have to engage in new ways to assess the effects of ocean development that go beyond the quantitative approach and seek to integrate qualitative information, traditional knowledge and local perceptions.

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