Seas and oceans continue to accumulate debris in all forms making them possibly the biggest landfills on the planet. In 2015, an article in Science estimated that 5-13 million metric tons of plastic waste finds its way into our oceans every year, jeopardizing the health of the marine environment and its fauna. Circular economy extends the life cycles of products and generates sustainable value chains, thus contributing to reducing the amount of polluting waste (e.g. plastic and other toxic materials) that ends up in the sea. It also contributes to environmental maritime industries, sustainable tourism, sustainable aquaculture, effective fisheries management and more sustainable transport/shipping.
EU’s Blue Economy has a turnover of € 566 B, generating € 174 B of added value and employing nearly 5 M people. The seas cover 70% of the earth’s surface and are vastly unexplored and underutilised. Further growth across a number of areas identified in EC’s Blue Growth Strategy, by which it seeks to support sustainable growth in the maritime sectors. One of the focus areas of this Strategy focuses on the development of a particular approach for maritime resources which is compatible with the goal of a circular economy, and for which ICT is directly identified as an enabler. ICT allows for synergy and linkages across established sectors such as fisheries, logistics, tourism as well as new emerging ones such as aquaculture, blue biotechnology, tourism 4.0 and ocean energy.
More information to be announced!