Innovation in the Blue Economy: Opportunities in Shipping, Aquaculture, and Offshore Wind for Climate Change Mitigation

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2021-04-30

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Abstract

As the world’s population continues to grow, increasing pressure will be placed on the ocean’s valuable resources. By 2030, nearly two-thirds of the fish on our plates will be farmed at sea; by 2040, global offshore wind capacity is projected to increase fifteen-fold; and by 2050, seaborne trade will have nearly quadrupled. An aspiration to balance sustainable economic growth, improved living standards, and ecosystem conservation has given rise to the term “blue economy” and an increased interest in the emerging bluetech area. We conducted semi-structured interviews with leaders in bluetech and experts in the shipping, aquaculture, and offshore wind industries. We identified the main risks that climate change poses to these industries and analyzed current and future opportunities in technology and innovation to decarbonize these industries. From this analysis, we developed the following takeaways: 1) Cross-sector partnerships allow companies to capitalize on advancements made in each individual industry, and should be pursued; 2) Digitization is a key element of improving efficiencies within all three sectors, and companies should look to bluetech hubs for promising digital innovations; 3) Utilizing economies of scale can drive down costs and reduce emissions; 4) All three sectors recognize that they have a role in increasing social equity and inclusion but so far have been slow to act toward that goal.

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Riddick, Sage, Megan Swanson and Lisa Snodgrass (2021). Innovation in the Blue Economy: Opportunities in Shipping, Aquaculture, and Offshore Wind for Climate Change Mitigation. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22690.


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