Blue Growth in a Changing Environment
The marine realm has a great potential for economic growth and innovation. To promote this potential the EU initiated the Blue Growth Strategy with three major components to (1) develop sectors with a high potential for sustainable growth, to (2) provide knowledge, legal certainty and security in the blue economy, and to (3) ensure tailor-made measures and foster cooperation between countries through sea basin strategies.
The North Sea basin is intensely used by different maritime sectors, such as energy production (renewable and fossil), shipping (trade and leisure), fisheries, aquaculture, and coastal tourism (to name but a few). With so many actors and the limited space available for growth and further development, conflicts of marine area use rise between the different actors. This might be one of the central limiting factors for Blue Growth in the North Sea basin. In addition, the environmental changes of the ecosystem North Sea and the physical properties caused by climate change and human activities play a prominent role.
To that end, there is a great need for understanding the connections and relationships between the factors of environmental change and the affected Blue Growth stakeholders in the North Sea basin. Communication pathways, currently underdeveloped, need to be expanded to provide a platform for mutual knowledge transfer between actors from environmental science, the Blue Growth industry and policy makers.
The project “Blue Growth in a Changing Environment” (BlueChange) addresses the prospective problems, shifts and required adaptations of a sustainable development of the Blue Growth sectors in a changing environment in a multi-disciplinary approach.