Why science and innovation are crucial for a blue recovery

As part of the Blue Recovery Series, the World Ocean Initiative hosted a webinar on the roles of science, innovation and investment in establishing a sustainable ocean economy in the post-coronavirus period.
Accelerating blue innovation
Innovation is an essential ingredient in tackling marine plastic pollution. By 2040 it is estimated that roughly 29m tonnes of plastic will leak into the ocean annually, equivalent to 50kg of plastic for every metre of coastline around the world. New research reveals how eight system interventions could break the plastic wave, from substituting plastic with paper and compostable materials to doubling the recycling capacity globally to 86m tonnes per year.
Women play a significant role in advancing ocean science and innovation. Three inspiring women from across the globe, leading the way for a sustainable ocean economy, have won the World Ocean Initiative’s inaugural Women and the ocean: Changemakers challenge. The three winners presented their ideas at a special “Meet the changemakers” webinar.
Innovation and technology can also help to address seafood fraud: 20% of all seafood sold globally is labelled with false information about source or even species, according to a 2016 study by US-based campaign group Oceana. The Norwegian seafood industry is hoping the roll-out of blockchain technology will enhance the reputation of its products.
Blue finance momentum
We have also recently highlighted innovations in blue finance. The development of ocean accounts provides an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the value of the ocean and with it the prospect of long-term sustainability. The World Ocean Summit in Lisbon in March 2021 will aim to restore momentum in building a sustainable ocean economy. I hope you can join me.

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