Many prefer the term “Big Ocean State” to the more common “Small Island State”. And rightfully so: on average island states have jurisdiction over 80x more ocean than land mass. As islands face their challenges – be it economic, social, environmental – a huge opportunity lies in tapping into the benefits that the Sustainable Blue Economy brings. It is the key to building resilient futures for islands.
But our ocean is in trouble… fish stocks are over-exploited; warming seas are destroying coral reefs; 100 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins; acidification and deoxygenation continue to rise; and there seems no end to marine plastic pollution. So to ensure island states benefit from the Sustainable Blue Economy – be it through tourism, fishery, energy or other related sectors – firstly all countries need to embrace the principle of sustainability and include a healthy ocean in their national plans. Meanwhile, Big Ocean States will continue to lead the way as they more directly bear the brunt of an unhealthy ocean, but also more directly reap the potential benefits.
In the face of these challenges, this panel explores the opportunities that a sustainable Blue Economy can bring to islands – based on practical examples – and will consider key steps needed to get there.
Daniel Hung 洪棟霖
Director at Penghu County Government, Taiwan
Tara went on to Complete her Degree at University of the West Indies, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies and also helped in forming the Germaine Mason Foundation.
She then Formed Cove Cool-out Restaurant & Bar while in University and started a Fish Fry based on a Popular Location called Hellshire Beach using authentic techniques of cooking and also hiring locals from that area.
Hellshire is at risk from sea level rise and Tara uses staff from the area for her weekly events. She is also looking into fish farming and already grows some of the inputs for her business. Nothing out of season is served at the Cove including lobster and conch; sustainable seafood is the priority.
Owner, Cove Cool-out Restaurant & Bar
Blue Economy Entrepreneur Consultant, at Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship./p>
Tourki Mohamed Ali
Youth Activist & Social Entrepreneur, Comoros Islands
Former Director of UNDP’s Center of Excellence for Small Island Developing States