WHAT IS BLUE ECONOMY?
Blue Economy is defined as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and increased jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. Essentially, how a country can capitalize its ocean resources in a sustainable way, while ensuring the continued availability of those resources for future generations.
BERMUDA'S BLUE ECONOMY
Bermuda has a wealth of “blue assets”—ocean-related resources that contribute to the environmental, social, and economic development of the country to which they belong. Its unique oceanic geographic location, large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and rich biodiversity are just three notable examples of these assets. Paired with deep history in blue economy industries such as commercial fishing and considerable prowess in the financial services sector, Bermuda is well-positioned to have a thriving Blue Economy.
BERMUDA'S BLUE ECONOMY STRATEGY
The Draft Blue Economy Strategy was created by the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme (BOPP) over the course of two years. A careful process was adopted to guarantee that existing laws, plans, and other strategic documents served as the foundation, while not constricting aspirational visioning. BOPP wanted to ensure that ambitious, new avenues for economic diversification were uncovered.
The Blue Economy Strategy will propose the development of a Blue Investment Facility in Bermuda to support blue economy projects and ocean conservation, ultimately supporting the long-term sustained development of Bermuda’s blue economy sector. It will also outline pipeline projects that have the potential for immediate growth to the blue economy, particularly for those industries prioritized by BOPP’s Steering Committee: fisheries, tourism, and ocean renewable energy.
To begin the process, a set of Guiding Principles were adopted by the BOPP Steering Committee:
Provide social and economic benefits for current and future generations of Bermudians by contributing to food security, poverty eradication, livelihoods, income, employment, health, safety, equity and political stability.
Restore, protect and maintain the diversity, productivity, resilience, core functions and intrinsic value of marine ecosystems.
Utilize evidence-based decision-making when evaluating new activities, policies or tradeoffs and, in circumstances where evidence is lacking, the burden of proof falls on those advocating for an action.
Adopt a multidisciplinary approach to management and prioritize activities which benefit Bermuda and Bermudians as a whole, instead of a single sector.
Employ participatory, inclusive, and transparent governance.
On October 7, 2021 BOPP announced a partnership with Finance Earth to assist in the development of a Blue Investment Fund in Bermuda. Finance Earth is a specialist investment manager providing corporate finance and fund management services with the aim to protect and restore nature. The work being done by Finance Earth will feed into the Blue Economy Strategy that BOPP is drafting in partnership with the Government of Bermuda. For more information, please see the press release.
Industries were chosen based on importance to Bermuda and potential growth.
BOPP Steering Committee Selects 3 Industries of Focus
Global Market Assessment + Local Economic Assessment
Industry-wide global trends and understanding of performance of the industry in Bermuda.
Interviews to collect expert input and views of the Bermudian stakeholders.
Expert Review & Recommendations
Industry experts evaluate research and draft specific recommendations for each industry.
Bermudian Expert Review
Experts in Bermuda provided inputs to the Draft Recommendations. (Additional stakeholder consultations were planned but shifted due to the global pandemic.)
Development of Blue Investment Fund Concept
Finance Earth was brought on board to develop a plan for the governance and capitalisation of a fund to support blue economy projects.
Release of Draft Strategy to BOPP Steering Committee
Steering Committee provides inputs to the Strategy and approves it for submission to Cabinet.
The Strategy is shared with Bermudian stakeholders and public for a 60-day consultation period.
Government Review and Adoption
The BOPP Steering Committee will consider the feedback of stakeholders and make any necessary changes to it before Government Adoption.
As a first step of the Blue Economy Strategy, three industry reports were drafted that align with the priority industries selected by the BOPP Steering Committee: Sustainable Fisheries, Blue Tourism, and Ocean Renewable Energy. These sectors were chosen as important blue economy sectors that had high potential for development. These reports include a global market assessment, a local economic assessment, and an industry expert analysis to build out a comprehensive picture of the sector’s current status and its future potential. A diverse group of Bermudians were interviewed on their perspectives, expertise, and vision for Bermuda's economic future, including private sector experts, government officials, Non-Governmental Organizations, and industry stakeholders. These reports are available upon request.
BOPP believes the ocean will play a key role in Bermuda’s ability to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The wealth of our marine resources support our fishers, bring in tourists from around the world, and contribute to our health and well-being in countless ways. And like any resource, careful management of its use and investment for the future is key to long term prosperity. Supporting a thriving Blue Economy and, protecting these resources for the future, and making the most out of their potential for sustainable economic growth remains a core pillar of BOPP.
Commercial fishing vessels have been licensed in Bermuda since 1972, with an average of 180 licensed vessels and approximately 300 licensed commercial fishers active in recent years. This report examines the commercial fishing industry to identify recommended interventions for its sustainable growth and continued management. The focus is to improve outcomes for fishermen, their customers, the environment, and the people of Bermuda.
Developed in partnership with:
OCEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY
Ocean Renewable Energy is an expanding industry and an important avenue of research for Bermuda. This report reviews ocean renewable energy first through a broad global assessment of available technologies, and then in the specific context of Bermuda, in order to consider which options best meet the island’s priorities while being both technically and commercially viable today.
Developed in partnership with:
Tourism has historically played a major role in the economy, particularly as it accounts for a significant portion of employment pre-2020. Like many destinations, Bermuda’s tourism industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19 due to travel restrictions around the world. Building on the National Tourism Plan, this report outlines actions to enhance environmental sustainability of the industry to help entice more arrivals.
Developed in partnership with:
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