The sustainable growth of a blue economy doesn’t have to come at the cost of ocean health, say leaders from BlueSwell, a Boston-based incubator run by SeaAhead Inc. and the New England Aquarium.
BlueSwell has chosen a second cohort of startups supporting ocean health, tackling areas including plastics remediation, water sensor technology and sea urchin aquaculture.
“Humans are heavily reliant on the ocean for many reasons, and as global populations continue to grow, so too will the ‘blue economy,’ including in the U.S.,” says John Mandelman, vice president and chief scientist with the aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life.
About 40% of the U.S. population lives in coastal counties, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In 2018, the blue economy supported 2.3 million American jobs, contributing about $373 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product through activities from tourism and recreation to shipping, transportation, fishing, power generation, research, and goods and services. The value of global ocean economy is expected to double to $3 trillion over the next decade.