Our projects

BLUE Economics

Part think-tank and part practitioner, the Blue Economics unit aims to show why conservation makes sound financial sense 

Blue Economics is concerned with the financial aspects of the use — and abuse — of the ocean. We quantify the poor economics of overfishing, which is not only harming the ocean, but is inefficient, heavily subsidised, and reliant on exploitation. We assess the economics of sustainable fishing, and the value it can bring to local livelihoods. We examine how protection and restoration can be delivered at scale if we appropriately value the ecosystem services such as climate regulation, nutrient cycling, and well-being provided by the marine life that we are protecting and restoring.   

Above all, Blue Economics aims to work with the financial sector to develop innovative fiscal mechanisms that we hope will mobilise the quantum of capital needed to protect the ocean and restore it to health.  

The scale of the climate and nature challenge we face in our oceans requires creative thinking around conservation finance. Since its inception, Blue Economics has developed a wealth of knowledge, and supported the financial sustainability of Blue Marine’s projects, as well as contributed to the global conversation around ‘the blue economy’.   

A core element of our work has been developing innovative biodiversity credits. We have worked closely with Blue Marine’s Solent Seascape team, whose project has been selected as a pilot for the developing Plan Vivo standard, making it one of the first marine projects to produce biodiversity credits verified under this scheme. We are working to develop a market around credits like these, engaging with the private sector to re-frame the way it values nature, and drive home the true value of biodiversity.  

Elsewhere in the UK we have worked on how to remove damaging fishing gear from marine protected areas. In collaboration with Economics for the Environment Consultants, we have produced reports on how to assess a ‘just transition’ to lower-impact gear, or away from fishing entirely. The topic has been developed through workshops with relevant stakeholders, and will provide evidence to help policymakers better protect UK waters.  

Internationally, we continue to provide support and knowledge exchange on sustainable finance for Blue Marine projects in Namibia, Turkey and the Maldives.  

Key stats

Large scale fisheries discard 10 million tonnes of fish and other sea life at sea


Small scale fisheries employ around 11 million more people than large scale fisheries


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How to help

By working together, we can turn the tide on overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity. By supporting Blue Marine, you can help to create marine reserves around the world.


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