Sustainable blue economy: moving beyond fish and ships.

 
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Byline: Ahsan Nisar

Pakistan is blessed with unlimited natural and marine resources. Pakistan's 1,200 kilometers lengthy coastline with the Arabian Sea is a god gifted area with natural harbors. It is a mid-sea section which joins the strategic oil line of the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. Pakistani sea ports join the trade routes between East and West which could be helpful to boost the economy of country.

However, there are many issues that plague the maritime and fishery sectors for long. Since Pakistan lags behind in technology; sustainability is impossible, which leads to massive wastage. The Deep Sea Fishing Policy has banned bottom sea trawling to protect marine life that is growing extinct. In addition to marine life, there is dire need to take measures to develop coastal population in Balochistan. Ambiguity and overlapping of laws and responsibilities has become a major challenge which must be addressed.

Blue economy is a marine-based economic development that leads to improved human wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. The oceans provide wide ranging value, from food and tourism to coastal protection and much more. Marine sectors are expected to expand dramatically in the coming years, with most doubling or quadrupling by 2030 and others growing to ten times or larger than their current size.

The ocean is the new economic frontier. It holds the promise of immense resource wealth and great potential for boosting economic growth, employment and innovation. And it is increasingly recognized as indispensable for addressing many of the global challenges facing the planet in the decades to come, from world food security and climate change to the provision of energy, natural resources and improved medical care.

While the potential of oceans to help meet these challenges is huge, it is already under stress from over exploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change. Realizing the full potential of the oceans will therefore demand responsible sustainable approaches to its economic development.

There are 10 elements of blue economy some of which are discussed below:

  1. Aquaculture

  2. Coastal development

  3. Tourism/recreational activities

  4. Maritime transport

  5. Marine mining

  6. Professional fishing

  7. Oil and gas industry

  8. Off-shore wind energy

  9. Mineral resources

  10. Ship building/breaking industry

Tourism

While foreign tourists can be attracted by...

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