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Government invites suggestions on blue economy policy

Indian Coast Guard has stepped up efforts for search and rescue of fishermen stranded in the wake of Cyclone Kyarr. ICG has so far rescued 19 fishermen and escorted more than 2100 fishing boats to safety at various ports in the West Coast. (PTI)Premium
Indian Coast Guard has stepped up efforts for search and rescue of fishermen stranded in the wake of Cyclone Kyarr. ICG has so far rescued 19 fishermen and escorted more than 2100 fishing boats to safety at various ports in the West Coast. (PTI)

  • The draft policy document outlines the vision and strategy that can be adopted by the government to utilise the plethora of oceanic resources available in the country

NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has rolled out the draft blue economy policy in the public domain, inviting suggestions and inputs from various stakeholders, including industry, NGOs, academia and citizens.

The draft policy document outlines the vision and strategy that can be adopted by the government to utilise the plethora of oceanic resources available in the country.

The document has recognised seven thematic areas: national accounting framework for the blue economy and ocean governance; coastal marine spatial planning and tourism; marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing; manufacturing, emerging industries, trade, technology, services, and skill development; logistics, infrastructure and shipping, including trans-shipments; coastal and deep-sea mining and offshore energy and security, strategic dimensions and international engagement.

India’s blue economy is understood as a subset of the national economy comprising an entire ocean resources system and human-made economic infrastructure in marine, maritime, and onshore coastal zones within the country’s legal jurisdiction. It aids the production of goods and services that have clear linkages with economic growth, environmental sustainability, and national security. The blue economy is a vast socio-economic opportunity for coastal nations like India to utilize ocean resources for societal benefit responsibly.

With a coastline of nearly 7.5 thousand kilometers, India has a unique maritime position. Nine of its 29 states are coastal, and the nation’s geography includes 1,382 islands. There are nearly 199 ports, including 12 major ports that handle approximately 1,400 million tons of cargo each year. Moreover, India’s Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2 million square kilometers has a bounty of living and non-living resources with significant recoverable resources such as crude oil and natural gas. Also, the coastal economy sustains over 4 million fisherfolk and coastal communities. With these vast maritime interests, the blue economy occupies a vital potential position in India’s economic growth. It could well be the next multiplier of GDP and well-being, provided sustainability and socio-economic welfare are kept center-stage. Therefore, India's draft blue economy policy is envisaged as a crucial framework towards unlocking country’s potential for economic growth and welfare.

The MoES prepared the draft blue economy policy framework in line with the Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030. It highlighted blue economy as one of the ten core dimensions for national growth. The draft policy framework emphasizes policies across several key sectors to achieve holistic growth of India’s economy. The document recognizes the following seven thematic areas.

  • National accounting framework for the blue economy and ocean governance.
  • Coastal marine spatial planning and tourism.
  • Marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing.
  • Manufacturing, emerging industries, trade, technology, services, and skill development.
  • Logistics, infrastructure and shipping, including trans-shipments.
  • Coastal and deep-sea mining and offshore energy.
  • Security, strategic dimensions, and international engagement.

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