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Symposium 2013

Proposal - Governing the World’s Ocean Requires Industry Leadership and Collaboration

The Challenge

The significance of our oceans for human life, the world’s climate and biodiversity is immense. Oceans cover more than 71 per cent of the planet’s surface, provide 97 per cent of its water supply, ...

The significance of our oceans for human life, the world’s climate and biodiversity is immense. Oceans cover more than 71 per cent of the planet’s surface, provide 97 per cent of its water supply, and their yet widely unknown biodiversity is unparalleled. They provide jobs and growth, food, energy, and raw materials, and 70 per cent of global trade is handled by ships. Oceans thereby secure the livelihoods of millions of people, especially in coastal regions. But these livelihoods are increasingly endangered by the effects of global warming, by the unrestricted exploitation of the oceans and by the ecological damage the oceans are suffering from overfishing, pollution and noise.

Leadership and collaboration by the diverse, international ocean business community is essential to addressing ocean governance and sustainability in of the dynamic, interconnected global ocean.

Successful international ecosystem-based ocean management that reconciles political, economic, social and environmental interests is not possible without active involvement, if not leadership, from the ocean business community. Ocean sustainability concerns are increasingly being pursed through globally coordinated efforts and unfortunately there is often not a corresponding coordination of effort by the sectorally fragmented ocean business community to engage these cross-cutting issues. Ocean stakeholders are pushing for increased regulation in a variety of international venues where international ocean rules are established. Strategic, coordinated industry participation in these processes is lacking, as is balanced, comprehensive information regarding industry efforts to address marine issues.

Ocean governance regimes and policies are emerging from processes in which industry is unfortunately not well engaged. Marine industries are often portrayed only as the cause of ocean problems, and are often unable to create any other perception as they are not “at the table” and constructively engaged in ocean governance developments. As a result, private sector access to ocean resources, services and space - even by companies with the best environmental record - is increasingly at risk from the loss of access and social license from the ocean governance emerging from processes in which industry is not well engaged. There have been efforts by responsible companies to differentiate themselves from poor performers and try to do business in a more environmentally responsible way. However, the efforts of one company or even a whole sector are not enough to address collective global impacts by a diverse range of industries in a shared global ecosystem.

As the principle users of the marine environment and with the marine environment subject to increasing commercial use, ocean industries have the most to gain by developing and delivering solutions to sustainability and helping to improve ocean governance and policies. Responsible industry performers are well positioned to develop and drive business-oriented solutions to marine environmental challenges to address marine environmental issues, differentiate themselves from poor performers, collaborate with like-minded companies within and across sectors, and engage ocean stakeholders and policy processes. Cross-sectoral leadership and collaboration by the diverse mix of ocean industry sectors can result in significant business value for the operators committing to a healthy and productive ocean that supports sustainable use by the responsible ocean business community.

It is critical that all ocean stakeholders understand the economic value, status and trends in use of marine space and resources.

Shipping
International shipping traffic growth has been twice that of economic activity for the past 60 years, during which time world trade more than trebled to 45% of global GDP. There are approximately 50,000 internationally operating merchant ships in service generally either as liquid cargo (oil, petroleum products, chemical) or as dry cargo/bulk goods (iron ore, coal, grain, phosphates, bauxite, non-ferrous metal ores, feed and fertilizers).

Offshore Oil and Gas
Globally, 45% of the 2,700 billion barrels of recoverable oil left is offshore. By 2035, deep-sea production will almost double to 8.7 million barrels a day, driven by the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa and Australia. Investment in deepwater/ultra deepwater exploration and production may be worth US$3.2 billion in 2013, with a single offshore costing US$70,000,000 to drill.

Fisheries
The world’s most productive fishing grounds are largely confined to areas that make up less than 10% of the global ocean, in continental shelves and upwelling areas of primary production. Marine fishery catches increased from 16.7 million metric tons (MT) in 1950 (86% of total production) to 87.7 million MT in 1996. Since then, global landings have stabilized at about 80 million MT. The harvest of high-seas fishery resources increased from less than 0.5 million MT in the early 1950s to 5.5 million MT in 2006.

Aquaculture
Aquaculture provides half of the 15.7% of animal protein consumed globally, growing at 6.6% per annum, making it the fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector. Aquaculture production (excluding plants) in 2008 was 52.5 million MT, with a value of US$98.4 billion, while aquatic plant production was 15.8 million MT, with a value of US$7.4 billion. By 2030 aquaculture will account for 65% of fish protein production.

Mineral Resources
The seabed contains precious metal deposits, cobalt-rich crusts and manganese nodules. By 2020, 5% of the world's minerals, including cobalt, copper and zinc could come from the seabed, reaching 10% by 2030. Globally, the value of marine minerals may reach €10 billion by 2030. EEZs contain important methane hydrate gas reserves, sand and gravel and nearshore phosphates.

Offshore Wind and Ocean Energy
Global offshore wind capacity was 3,117.6 megawatts in 2010, with a growth rate of 59%, 1.6% of overall wind energy. A total of 10 gigawatts (GW) of capacity had been installed, led by the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden. The EU has a target of 40 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2020 and 150 GW by 2030. The world’s ocean waves, currents, and tides are estimated to contain more than 5,000 times current global energy demand, with estimates that marine resources could feasibly provide 20,000 terawatthours of electricity per year, more than the current global electricity generation. Engineering for technology in the harsh marine environment presents many challenges.

Cruise ship tourism
The number of cruise ship passengers has grown nearly twice as fast as world international tourist arrivals from 1998-2008. With 14 million passengers in 2010, the industry is expected to grow at 8.5% per year to 2020. There are about 130 cruise ships, and about 70% of destinations are in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico and the South Pacific. In 2001, the North American cruise industry contributed US$20 billion to the US economy, a US$2 billion increase over 2000.

Improving ocean governance and sustainable use of marine ecosystems will require proactive, constructive, coordinated leadership and collaboration by the diverse ocean business community. Achieving a balance between ‘blue’ growth, jobs, and a sound maritime environment will largely be based on addressing the opportunities and challenges facing the diverse, extensive set of existing ocean activities.

 

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