Getting BLUE ECONOMY Right

Blue Economy language is dominating sustainable development discourse, often to the exclusion of small-scale fisheries and other historically marginalized groups in ocean food spaces. This theme examines issues of inclusivity, equity, and justice for small-scale fisheries in Blue Economy discourse.

Wading in the Blue: Fostering a shared understanding of sustainable development, ocean governance, and Blue Justice for SSF

People are talking a lot about “Blue” in ocean research and sustainable development strategies. Terms such as ‘Blue Growth’ and ‘Blue Economy’ seem now to be critical for shaping the future of Canadian fisheries and oceans. But what exactly do these terms mean? Do they really refer to who benefits, and who is left behind? Answers to key questions are often left implicit and as researchers from OFI Module I demonstrate, vagueness can have dramatic implications for coastal communities.


This month, we are highlighting ideas presented by OFI Module I researchers at the recent MARE conference. We reflect on approaches taken by OFI Module I researchers to deepen understanding of “Blue” relating to Blue Economy, Blue Growth, and Blue Justice narratives in Canada

Challenges and opportunities for equity and justice in Canada's Blue Economy - Part I

Blue Economy and Blue Growth are presented as transformative approaches to sustainable development, but social science scholars and practitioners are anticipating these approaches will bring about injustice and inequities. Blue Economy and Blue Growth narratives are often vague and include tension among economic development, social objectives, and conservation. At the centre of this tension are the people who have been, and continue to be, marginalized by Growth and Economy narratives around the world, including in Atlantic Canada. At the recent MARE conference, OFI researchers presented their work on equity and justice for Canada’s Blue Economy in two parts. The first presentations revealed challenges and opportunities for equity and justice amid Blue Economy discourse.

Challenges and opportunities for equity and justice in Canada's Blue Economy - Part II

“Blue Economy” and “Blue Growth” discourse is often dominated by language of sustainable development. Opportunities exist for discussion about who will be affected and excluded from development, and whether processes and outcomes are desirable, equitable, or just. Communicating and working together across boundaries and disciplines is essential to advance Blue Justice. At the recent MARE Conference, OFI researchers presented their work on equity and justice for Canada's Blue Economy in two parts. In the second set of presentations, researchers shared diverse perspectives on grounding a shared understanding of sustainable development in principles of justice and transdisciplinarity