The ocean gave birth to life, connected the world, promoted development, and the future of marine economic development is uncertain. From traditional industries such as marine fisheries and marine transportation to emerging industries such as seawater utilization, countries around the world are constantly exploring how to better develop marine resources, promote the sustainable development of marine economy, and make the results of marine economic development better benefit the people
Marine tourism feeds back the island’s ecological environment protection
Located about 1,000 kilometres from the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galapagos Islands inspired Darwin to create Origins of Species, which was listed by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978 and is now one of Ecuador’s most important tourist destinations. At this Museum of Living Biological Evolution, visitors can sunbathe with penguins, swim with sea lions, and meet giant tortoises face-to-face to experience biodiversity.
The booming tourism industry is breathing life into the Galapagos Islands. In 2019, more than 270,000 visitors to the islands. The increase in visitors has led to the development of the island’s hotel industry, with the number of hotels increasing from 65 in 2006 to 317 in 2017. Most of the tourists spend around ocean-based excursions and experients, so 85 per cent of the island’s economic activity is directly or indirectly related to tourism, and the number of local tourism practitioners is increasing.
Jim Lutz, president of the International Galapagos Tourism Association, believes that the development of tourism has led to the overall development of the island, but also to the island’s ecological protection, “the benefits of tourism help to better monitor and protect national parks and marine protected areas.” Founded in 1959, the Galapagos National Park covers 97.5 per cent of the island’s land, and the 133,000 square kilometres of ocean surrounding the island are designated protected areas, prohibiting industrial fishing. In 2016, another 38,000 square kilometres of “no-fishing zones” were designated near Darwin and Wolfe islands in the archipelago, where all fishing is prohibited. The area is one of the most shark-intensive areas, and local studies say sharks have far more tourism value than their fishing value, with catching a shark worth about $200 for fishermen and potentially generating more than $5 million in tourism value over a lifetime.
In order to promote the sustainable development of island eco-tourism, the local government actively promotes the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles, restricts the growth of the island’s construction and resident population, prohibits the use of plastic products, and strictly regulates the number of visitors, goods and tourist activities entering the island. “The environmental, social and biological characteristics here are very special, which requires us to have special rules that take tourism into account from the supply side.” Walter Bustos, former head of the Galapagos National Park, said.
Not only the Galapagos Islands, but also the marine tourism industry off the coast of Ecuador has grown in recent years. Ecuador’s coastal areas with mangrove forests, beaches and excellent surf spots are the top destinations for tourists in a number of tourism-related surveys. Port Lopez in Manawi province is famous for whale watching. Every year from June to September, Antarctic humpback whales are attracted to the warm waters here to breed. Driven by whale watching activities, the port of Lopez has developed a variety of tourism projects, such as snorkeling, bird watching, fishing, water sports, and a series of cultural and artistic events are held every season. According to statistics, the port of Lopez attracts about 40,000 visitors a year during the viewing season.
In 2017, Ecuador has formulated the Coastal and Marine Space Management Plan 2017-2030, which sets clear directions for maritime transport, fishing, aquaculture, ports, extractive and scientific research, including tourism. The government hopes to protect coastal and marine ecosystems and cultural heritage through collaboration among various departments, rationally develop the marine tourism industry and promote the sustainable development and utilization of marine resources.
Research and development spending in the shipping industry accounts for 4% of total revenue
The Netherlands has a long history of developing marine economy, marine fisheries, shipping, ports, shipbuilding, offshore wind power and other industries are internationally renowned, marine economy-related industries are the backbone of the country’s national economy. In recent years, the Netherlands has focused on integrated planning and has worked to promote the sustainable development of the marine economy.
Shipping and port businesses are the bright “business cards” of the Dutch economy. The Netherlands is bordered by the North Sea, is located at the intersection of the North Atlantic route and the European sea access, with the Rhine, Maas and other important Rivers in Europe, known as the “European Gateway.” Along the North Sea coast, more than 10 seaports, large and small, line up in turn, of which the port of Rotterdam has a throughput of more than 460 million tons and has long been The Largest Port In Europe, With 130,000 VesselS Passing Through The River each Year.
At present, the Netherlands has more than 21,000 shipping enterprises, directly create value of more than 18.6 billion euros, the value of the surrounding industries more than 4.6 billion euros, driving employment of more than 260,000 people. Relying on mature ports and developed maritime transport, the Dutch shipbuilding industry, tourism, finance and other industries continue to flourish.
The focus on innovation is an important reason for the long-term development of the marine economy in the Netherlands. According to statistics, research and development expenditure in the Dutch shipping-related industries accounts for 4% of the total revenue, far exceeding the level of 1.5% of the research and development expenditure of the Whole Society of the Netherlands. In the shipbuilding industry, for example, although the overall size of the Dutch shipbuilding industry is small, but in the semi-submersible ship and other high-end shipbuilding field, the Netherlands occupies an important position.
The Netherlands Maritime Research Institute is a research institute specializing in marine science. In recent years, the Netherlands Maritime Research Institute has focused on large floating artificial islands, coastal floating embankments, floating solar panels and other forward-looking technologies, carried out a lot of research. When the technology matures in the future, it is expected to help the Netherlands become a strong competitor in these areas.
As a famous “lowland country”, the Netherlands is low-lying and vulnerable to tidal erosion. For centuries, the country has reclaimed about 7,000 square kilometres of land, or about a third of its total land area, by fencing off embankments and other means. While resisting sea erosion, reclamation also offers more opportunities for the Dutch economy.
The Sedhai Project is the largest land-building project in the Netherlands. The project has been planned and built since the beginning of the last century and is still under construction. The project separates the North Sea from the Shoude Sea by building a dam, and builds a two-way, four-lane road on the dam. When completed, it will become a key transportation road in Northeast Europe. Part of the dam becomes a freshwater lake, while the other part is made of agricultural land for farming. Data show that the total area of land reclamation in the Shoude Sea is more than 2600 square kilometers, with a population of more than 3 million.
In recent years, the Dutch government has paid more attention to ecological protection in its planning, reduced the area of farming areas in land reclamation areas, and vigorously built and expanded nature reserves such as wetlands.
With the rise of offshore wind power and other emerging industries, the North Sea is becoming increasingly “crowded”, the marine ecological environment is facing great pressure. In order to better protect the marine environment and rationally exploit and utilize marine resources, in 2018, a number of Dutch government departments jointly formulated an integrated programme for the development of the North Sea, jointly promoting the sustainable development of the marine economy and striving to strike a balance between marine development and protection.
Robert Dykstri, head of space policy at the Dutch Interior Ministry, said the future development of the North Sea must take into account such areas as waterway planning, wind power, fishing and aquaculture. Through scientific design, make full use of marine space, so that shipping, power generation, aquaculture and other activities have their own. Dexter stressed that marine development must be inclusive of nature and view the ocean as an ecosystem to promote the sustainable development of marine ecology.
Promote the high level of marine science and technology and life sciences
There is a 107-hectare campus in Brest, on the Atlantic coast of northwest France. The park is neat and modern, not far from the orderly docking of a ship. This is brest science and technology park, as France’s national marine high-tech park, the main marine industry gathering area, here has including shipbuilding, marine biotechnology, marine energy utilization and coastal regional management and other fields of many enterprises and related institutions, leading the French marine economic innovation and green development trend.
France is north of the North Sea, the English Channel, west of the Atlantic Ocean, south of the Mediterranean Sea, marine resources are very rich, with the development of marine economy outstanding advantages. In order to advance its marine strategy, France established the National Centre for Marine Development in 1967 to promote research in the marine field. In the 1980s, France established the Ministry of Oceans to manage ocean affairs in a unified manner. Since then, the country has introduced a number of marine strategic plans and policies to better develop and utilize marine resources.
According to the European Commission’s 2020 EU Blue Economic Report, France’s marine economy will be worth 21.7 billion euros in 2018, employing 375,000 people. Among them, coastal tourism is the backbone of the marine economy, accounting for 52% of the output value, creating more than half of the jobs in this field. In addition, traditional marine industries, including fisheries, shipbuilding, shipping, ports, offshore oil and gas extraction, etc., are also an important part of the French marine economy, with strong momentum.
In recent years, in addition to the traditional marine industry, the emerging marine industry has been paid more and more attention. Through relevant marine policies, the French government strongly supports scientific research and innovation, further explores the potential of marine economy and promotes the sustainable development of marine economy. Brest Science and Technology Park is the use of this policy to achieve rapid development. Since its establishment in 1988, with the support of all levels of government in France, the park, with the support of scientific research institutions and high-tech enterprises, through the way of cooperation in production and learning to achieve “two-way back-feeding”, on the one hand, to promote the economic growth of the Brittany region in which it is located, on the other hand, as one of the most well-known marine science centers in France and even Europe, the park also continues to promote the high level of marine science and technology and life sciences development in France.
Located about 200 km from Brest Technology Park, it is home to the world’s second-largest tidal power station, the Lance Power Station. Twenty-four turbine units with a diameter of 5.35 meters generate electricity using water level differences formed by rising and falling tides, with a installed capacity of 240 MW. In recent years, France has further accelerated the pace of energy transformation, focusing on wind, tides and other potential energy use areas. Among them, tidal power generation, wind power generation, wave power generation and other energy use methods have been put into practice or passed the test.
According to the draft energy development plan published by the French Ministry of Ecological Transformation and Solidarity in 2019, the installed capacity of renewable energy generation in France will quadruple from current levels by the end of 2028, with new installations mainly coming from wind and solar. Last year, France launched a 100 billion euro economic recovery plan, and green transformation is one of the key areas, according to an article in the French newspaper Les Echos. With the gradual landing of related projects and investments, the French marine economy will usher in a new wave of “green development”. “The French government will continue to promote the development of wind farms in the western French sea and parts of the Mediterranean Sea, and will assist in the development of floating offshore wind farms with national resources.” Etienne Baker, an energy adviser at the French prime minister’s office, said.
Achieve “traceability of fish from hatching to packaging”
On the azure waters off the east coast of Mauritius, 125 round cages with diameters of 20-25 metres floated in the sea, and white boats walked through them to feed the fry. This aquaculture farm belongs to the Marine Aquaculture Company of Maheburg, Mauritius, which produces about 3,000 tons of fish a year and is known for producing high-quality red drum fish. Maheborg also has its own fish hatchery and processing plant, with product packaging marked with processing dates and other information to achieve “fish traceability from hatching to packaging”.
Mauritius is rich in fisheries resources and the processing of fisheries and aquatic products is one of the country’s most promising industries. In the 1980s, due to overexploitation in some areas of the sea, the number of fish species due to overfishing decreased sharply, and the marine ecological environment deteriorated. Beginning in the 1990s, the Government of Mauritius began to adopt restrictive measures to protect fishery resources and develop aquaculture. Introducing the plan, Mauritian Prime Minister Jagnat said, “In order to consolidate and develop the fisheries industry, we will conduct population assessments to better manage and protect marine species”.
As an island nation, maritime transport is essential for Mauritius. Located on the main maritime trade route in the southern Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a sea and air transport hub between Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Prior to the opening of the Suez Canal, any passing vessels detouring the Cape of Good Hope to the Strait of Malacca in Asia had to be moored here. Even today, the capital, Port Louis, remains one of Africa’s busiest ports of good. According to data released by the Mauritian Port Authority, Mauritian port trade volume exceeded 8 million tons in fiscal 2019, contributing more than 2% of the country’s GDP.
Because of its transport economy and safety and reliability, maritime transport has become the main mode of transport for Mauritius to carry out foreign trade, and related activities around ports have become an important part of the development of the country’s marine economy. In order to promote port development, Mauritius has been implementing the port master development plan since 2002 and has taken effective measures to maintain and upgrade the port infrastructure so that the port can meet the growing demand for large container ships. Mauritius has invested more than 6 billion Mauritian rupees (about 6 Mauritian rupees) in port modernization and expansion. Under the newly revised master port development plan, Mauritius plans to invest an additional $700 million in the development of cruise terminals and smart port systems.
“The ocean represents our historical, cultural, environmental and economic heritage” – a prominent position on the official website of the Mauritius Economic Development Authority reads. With 1.9 million square kilometres of exclusive maritime economic zone and 396,000 square kilometres of sea area jointly managed with Seychelles, the country “has such a large exclusive economic zone that the marine sector will be the main pillar of economic development”. Mauritius also attracts visitors from all over the world because of its stunning island scenery. According to statistics, marine economic activities, including tourism, fisheries, seafood processing, seaport activities and so on, account for about 30% of GDP.
In order to further tap the potential of marine economic development and better protect the marine ecological environment, on the basis of the 10-year Fisheries Development Plan formulated in 1998, Mauritius formulated the Five-Year Fisheries Development Plan in 2005 and launched a National Plan of Action in 2010 to stop and eliminate illegal fishing and promote the sustainable development of the marine economy. Since 2014, Mauritius has incorporated the marine economy into its national development plan and has developed a detailed road map for marine economic development, with plans to develop emerging industries such as aquaculture, marine services, marine biotechnology and oil and gas exploration while consolidating traditional industries.