A Blue Economy Vision for Scotland

Sets out our long-term ambition for Scotland’s blue economy to 2045. It demonstrates how much we value our marine environment and its significance. This is captured in six outcomes sitting across a range of environmental, social and economic ambitions.

3. Defining the Blue Economy

There is no single global definition of a ‘blue economy approach’[1].

Figure 1 Scotland’s Blue Economy Outcomes

1. One Ocean One Earth, One Home, One Shared Future

2. Scotland’s marine ecosystems are healthy and functioning, with nature protected and activities managed using an ecosystem-based approach to ensure negative impacts on marine ecosystems are minimised and, where possible, reversed.

3. Scotland’s blue economy is resilient to climate change, contributing to climate mitigation and adaptation, with marine sectors decarbonised, resource efficient, supporting Scotland’s Net Zero and Nature Positive commitments.

4. Economic Outcomes Established and emerging marine sectors are innovative, entrepreneurial, productive and internationally competitive

5. Scotland is a global leader in healthy, quality, sustainably harvested and farmed Blue Foods, for our own population and beyond

6. Social Outcomes Thriving, resilient, regenerated, healthy communities have more equal access to the benefits that ocean resources provide

7. Scotland is an ocean literate and aware nation

The blue economy approach recognises that “our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on our most precious asset: Nature, where nature provides a flow of benefits to people and the economy, called natural capital. It helps demonstrate the interconnections between economic, societal and environmental challenges in a more holistic way. If we want to transform our economy and society, we must thrive within the planet’s sustainable limits and harness the opportunities this creates for our prosperity and well-being.

The blue economy approach requires a transition from ‘environment versus economic growth’ (the prevailing status quo in Scotland and globally) to ‘shared stewardship’ of natural capital that is facing common pressures. It draws from scientific findings that ocean resources are limited and that the health of the marine environment has declined through human impact. The aim is to achieve a triple bottom line where ambitious economic, social and environmental objectives can be progressed in balance with a clear emphasis on building a wellbeing economy that promotes sustainability, prosperity, innovation, resilience and inclusion.


Email: Pat.McAuley@gov.scot

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