The Blue Economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of marine and coastal ecosystem.
The document recognises that Scotland’s seas and waters have a key role to play in contributing to the nation’s future economic prosperity, especially in remote, rural and island communities – and that a healthy marine environment is essential to supporting this ambition.
It identifies six outcomes acting as focal points to ensure the marine environment supports ecosystem health, improved livelihoods, economic prosperity, social inclusion and well-being. The outcomes also recognise the ambition for Scotland to be a global leader in providing healthy, high-quality and sustainably harvested ‘blue foods’.
Scotland has 617,000 square kilometres of marine area – seven times greater than the size of its land area – and 18,743 kilometres of coastline. The marine economy supports nearly 75,000 jobs – a sector that generated £5 billion in GVA in 2019.
Set out in the paper is the Scottish Government’s long-term goal for the blue economy to 2045 and its publication marks the start of work to deliver a collaborative approach for marine-related activity in Scotland. The next step is to develop the programmes and policies to deliver the six outcomes in a blue economy action plan.
Mairi Gougeon, rural affairs secretary, said: “Together, we can achieve an ambitious transformation of the value of Scotland’s seas as we move from blue economy theory into delivery, driving forward innovative solutions to deliver bold and ambitious change, helping to tackle the twin crises of nature and climate change, bringing real benefits to people and communities throughout Scotland and globally.
“Scotland’s seas and coasts support vital jobs, especially in coastal and island communities, providing many goods and services as well as contributing to our overall well-being. There is potential for an ambitious blue recovery for people and nature and the blue economy vision starts us on that journey.”