The Economist World Ocean Summit 2015 was recently held in Cascais Portugal from June 3rd-5th. More than 350 government ministers, business leaders, environmentalists and representatives from multilateral organizations from across the globe convened to discuss how to make the transition from a conventional ocean economy to a new ‘blue’ economy. The links between sound ocean governance and management to a blue economy featured in many of the keynote talks as well as a Coastal Governance Index prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit. All stressed the importance of good governance, including public participation, transparency and accountability, along with sound policies to protect the environment to creating conditions for a sustainable “blue economy”.
An ocean innovation challenge was a key part of the event. Three finalists presented new technologies very relevant to pressing ocean issues. Eyes on the Seas combines satellite monitoring and imagery data with other information to help authorities detect suspicious fishing activity anywhere around the world; Liquid Robotics’ energy-efficient wave glider collects real-time data that can be used to track weather, to conduct oceanographic research and to curb illegal activities in MPAs and EEZs.; and Rightship aims to reduce greenhouse gases in the shipping industry by employing efficiency ratings to freight and shipping vessels similar to ratings applied to motor vehicles.
Coastal Governance Index: http://www.economistinsights.com/sites/default/files/EIU_CGIndex_WEB%20final.pdf
Blue Economy Briefing Paper: http://www.economistinsights.com/sustainability-resources/analysis/blue-economy
Ocean Innovation Challenge: http://www.economistinsights.com/sustainability-resources/event/world-ocean-summit-2015/custom
 A working definition of a “blue economy” provided for the Summit is a “sustainable ocean economy emerges when economic activity is in balance with the long-term capacity of ocean ecosystem to support this activity and remain resilient and healthy.