Life under Water -Tackling Ocean Sustainability

Rachel Smith, Applied Technology Review | Monday, July 04, 2022

The blue economy is a new idea that promotes better stewardship of our ocean or blue resources in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius

Fremont, CA: The most of the financial benefits from the maritime economy go to a small number of corporations. The structure of the ocean economy reflects the structure of the global economy as a whole. And this degree of concentration poses environmental risks. Powerful corporations can more easily push governments to remove social or environmental regulations that might otherwise require them to restrict greenhouse gas emissions or pay higher wages.

The blue economy is a new idea that promotes better stewardship of our ocean or blue resources in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. The ocean's role in averting climate change disaster is important. This is due to the fact that it is projected to absorb at least a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

Here are some of the most exciting ocean sustainability trends that are currently shaping the industry.

Seawilding

The notion of seawilding extends the concept of rewilding (conservation activities focused at restoring and maintaining natural processes and wilderness areas) to our oceans. Rewilding the seafloor, for example, offers a significant opportunity for carbon sequestration: sea grass sequesters carbon 35 times quicker than trees, while simultaneously mitigating the consequences of storm surges. But how can one begin seawilding? More marine protected areas (MPAs) could be part of the solution. These are sections of the ocean that have been designated for long-term conservation purposes. However, only six percent of the ocean is currently protected, and the majority of existing MPAs lack sufficient human and financial resources to fully execute conservation and management measures. While increasing political commitments can assist strengthen the governance structures and resources available to MPAs, innovation will be necessary to rebalance and restore the seas.

Energy Afloat

Energy is the most significant contributor to climate change, accounting for over 60 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions - hence there is an urgent need to investigate renewable and clean energy sources such as wind and solar power. The problem with these sources is the amount of space they demand, which is particularly problematic for smaller, underdeveloped, and landlocked countries. To close the gap, innovation is required. And ocean-based areas for renewable energy generation could be one solution.

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