SUFB 013: The Role of Ocean Economies in Conservation


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Speak Up For Blue Podcast

Ocean Conservation happens for a reason. The biggest reason why we need to conserve our ocean is because we are there, humans I mean. We are in the Ocean, swimming, boating, and for other recreational reasons. We are also in the Ocean for commercial reasons, which mainly requires and excration process (oil and gas extraction, mining through extraction, and fishing through extraction). And then there are the things that we do to support business within and outside the Ocean such as ship transportation. The money generated by these activities are an extremely important part of the economy, in many different countries.

Conservationists may not like the fact that we really heavily on extractive ocena processes such as oil and gas, mining and fishing; however, we cannot ignore the fact that these type of economies exist, are profitable and they will continue to exist so long as they are profitable and there are no tangible alternatives (wow that hurt writing that). Therefore, we need to include all ocean activities into the conservation equation because conservation will not happen until we do.

I have a confession I would like to make: I do not completely understand economics; however, I know I need to understand it so I can better protect the Ocean. To accomplish this goal, I asked Jeff Adkins to come on The Speak Up For Blue POdcast to help us understand the Ocean Economies to better protect the Ocean.

I learned so much about how much we rely on Ocean Economies during the interview it was amazing! Jeff really gave me a great understanding of ocean economies, their complexity and how they integrate with Ocean Conservation. I highky suggest you listen to this episode because I believe you will learn much more about how the Ocean and the Ocean Economies work in the field of Ocean Conservation.

Enjoy the podcast!

Resources Mentioned during the Podcast

Employment data (“Economics: National Ocean Watch,” or ENOW)

Data for self-employed workers (ENOW for Self Employed Workers)

Data Subsets of the Data above

Coastal County Snapshot tool (select “Ocean Jobs”)

The ENOW Explorer tool lets users interact with the ENOW ocean economy data

“Story maps” that tell stories about the data using maps (Map 1)

“Story maps” that tell stories about the data using maps (Map 2)

“Story maps” that tell stories about the data using maps (Map 3)

“Story maps” that tell stories about the data using maps (Map 4)

Study by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on the relationship between offshore wind energy development and coastal tourism

A much wider range of data, tools, training, case studies, etc. offered free by NOAA can be found on our Digital Coast website

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Tishy Bunk says:

    Hey, I’m still in food and beverage work, and I’m about to launch a global ocean foundation! Waited tables and bartend, to get my Associates degree, opened and owned a restaurant, to get my BS in Biology, and played catering chef and event planner to get my graduate degree.

    Awesome podcast Andrew. Jeff did a tremendous job clearing the ambiguity on how ocean economics plays into conservation efforts. Key is the understanding that the science of making economic decisions, those choices we face in ocean economy, will determine the outcome of a healthy ocean. A healthy ocean is defined as one that can sustainably deliver a range of benefits to people now and in the future (as defined by

    The Global Ocean Commission has done a great job in identifying the key economic drivers of ocean decline (, and in their 2014 report outlining 8 action proposals that can shift the decline cycle to a recovery cycle with drivers for a sustainable ocean.

    The global economies rely on the health of the oceans for much more than just nourishment – oceans play a critical role in producing half of the Earth’s oxygen. What is more, the ocean is also responsible for absorbing nearly a third of harmful human-caused emissions. It even provides an abundance of the raw materials for creating various goods, ranging from cosmetics to medicines.

    Thank you Jeff Adkins for explaining the ever so tough and dry topics of economy. Thanks Andrew for Speak Up For Blue Podcasts, and your ever so intelligent voice for our oceans!

    Tishy-Linda M. Bunk
    Global Ocean Network GON Founder/CEO
    M.S. Marine Biologist/ Environmental Science & Policy Consultant

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