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Blueprint for Transforming the Blue Economy

  • 20 Oct 2023
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Blue economy, International Container Trans-shipment Port, Indian Ports Association, Deep Ocean Mission, Sagarmala project, O-SMART, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, NavIC, Indian ports

For Mains: Significance of the Blue Economy, Challenges Related to India’s Blue Economy.

Source: TH

Why in News?

Recently, Indian Prime Minister unveiled ‘Amrit Kaal Vision 2047’, the long-term blueprint for the Indian maritime blue economy while inaugurating Global Maritime India Summit 2023 in Mumbai.

  • It includes initiatives like Advanced Mega Ports, an International Container Trans-shipment Port, island development, Expanded inland waterways, and multi-modal hubs for efficient trade.
  • The Prime Minister also highlighted the government's vision for the maritime sector, encapsulated in the phrase 'Ports for Prosperity' and 'Ports for Progress.'

What is the Global Maritime India Summit 2023?

  • About:
    • Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) 2023 is a flagship event aimed at propelling the Indian maritime economy by promoting global and regional partnerships and facilitating investments.
      • It is an annual meet of the Indian and international maritime community to address key industry issues and exchange ideas to bring the sector forward.
  • Organisers

What is the Blue Economy?

  • About:
    • According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem."
  • Significance of the Blue Economy:
    • Food Security: Fisheries and aquaculture are integral components of the Blue Economy, providing a substantial portion of the world's protein sources. Sustainable practices in these sectors are essential for global food security.
    • Environmental Conservation: By promoting responsible resource management, the Blue Economy supports the preservation of marine biodiversity and ecosystems.
      • Healthy oceans play a crucial role in climate regulation and carbon sequestration.
    • Tourism and Recreation: Coastal and marine tourism is a significant contributor to the global economy.
      • The Blue Economy enhances opportunities for tourism and recreation, attracting visitors to coastal areas and promoting conservation awareness.
    • Renewable Energy: It encourages the development of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, tidal, and wave energy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.
    • Transportation and Trade: Maritime shipping is a lifeline for global trade. Efficient and sustainable maritime transportation is vital for the global economy.


  • India has a vast coastline of 7500 km, and its exclusive economic zones (EEZ) extend over 2.2 million square km. Also, India is home to 12 major ports, over 200 other ports, 30 shipyards and a comprehensive hub of diverse maritime service providers. This means India has much potential to be a frontrunner in a healthy blue economy.

What are the Challenges Related to India’s Blue Economy?

  • Fragmented Fishing Industry: The Indian fishing industry is highly fragmented, primarily comprising small fishermen who lack access to credit and modern technology, hindering their competitiveness.
    • Also, overfishing, driven by a lack of regulation, further threatens the industry's sustainability.
  • Climate Change and Natural Disasters: Climate change poses a significant threat to the Blue Economy through sea-level rise, increased ocean acidity, and extreme weather events.
    • Preparing for and mitigating these impacts is essential for long-term sustainability.
  • Waste and Pollution: Pollution, including marine litter, chemical pollutants, and untreated sewage, threatens the health of marine ecosystems.
    • The introduction of non-native, invasive species through oil spills can disrupt marine ecosystems and negatively impact indigenous species and industries.
  • Congestion in Ports: Many Indian ports experience congestion due to inadequate maintenance infrastructure, inefficient operations, and high cargo volumes, leading to delays and increased costs.

What are the Key Government Initiatives Related to the Blue Economy?

Way Forward

  • Policy Reforms and Regulation: Develop a comprehensive and stable regulatory framework for all sectors of the Blue Economy, addressing fragmentation and inconsistencies and encouraging responsible and sustainable practices through effective enforcement and incentives.
    • Streamline customs and documentation processes to expedite cargo clearance in ports.
  • Infrastructure Development: Invest in modernizing and expanding port infrastructure, including berths, terminals, and equipment, to accommodate growing cargo volumes efficiently.
    • Improve road and rail connectivity to ports for the seamless movement of cargo to and from the hinterland.
  • Sustainable Fishing: Promote responsible fishing and aquaculture practices through education, incentives, and regulation, addressing overfishing and environmental degradation.
    • Implement strict pollution control measures and waste management systems to safeguard marine ecosystems.
  • Investment and Financing: Attracting private sector investment in Blue Economy sectors through public-private partnerships, incentives, and financial support.
    • Facilitate access to credit and finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Blue Economy to promote their growth.
  • Enhancing Shipbuilding Industry: To promote innovation in shipbuilding and repair, India should establish research and development centers, in collaboration with the private sector, with a specific focus on advanced materials, and green technologies.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year’s Question (PYQs)


Q. What is blue carbon?

(a) Carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems

(b) Carton sequestered in forest biomass and agricultural soils

(c) Carbon contained in petroleum and natural gas

(d) Carbon present in atmosphere

Ans: (a)


Q. Defining blue revolution, explain the problems and strategies for pisciculture development in India. (2018)

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