A doctrine I have previously posted:“To build a better world, start in your community.”The development of the blue economy where coastal communities leverages the sustainable use of their ocean resources for economic growth while preserving the health of marine ecosystem is a great example.
I first became aware of the blue economy concept during my sojourn in Portland, Maine following Atlantic Sea Farms, a company which overnight evolved into the leading producer of kelp in the U.S.The company successfully implemented a blue economy business modelin thecompany’s backyard, Maine’s coastal communities where people and the planet came first as it related to capitalizing on a sustainable marine eco-system.
Maine’s fishing industry impacted by climate change had been struggling dramatically, more specifically as lobsters seeking colder water migrated north or to deeper waters. ASF’s blue economy business model is to partner with kelp farmers in the state, primarily lobster fishermen and small family-run marine businesses to provide an alternative source of income. The harvested line kelp is then manufactured locally by ASF into innovative kelp products and ingredients sold around the country. In addition, growing kelp is beneficial to the coastal communities’ marine environment/ecosystem; it acts as a carbon and nitrogen sink that offsets ocean acidification, thus improves water quality. Consequently, some farmers are beginning to cultivate bumper crops of mussels. Thanks to Atlantic Sea Farms, Maine’s coastal communities are now focused on the sustainability of its ocean resources for the state’s economic growth, improved livelihoods/jobs while preserving the health of its ocean ecosystem.
The blue economy. Community, community, community!