Seventy percent of the earth’s surface is made of oceans, yet only 5 percent of this vast expanse has been explored — and far less than that protected. Businesses are waking up to untapped economic opportunities within these watery regions, which absorb 30 percent of the planet’s carbon emissions.
But as warming, acidification, chemical pollution, waste flows, overfishing and rising sea levels imperil marine systems, species and habitats, industrializing the oceans further brings new risks. The recognition of oceans’ economic potential is crashing up against the movement to place an economic value on its natural capital.
The emerging "blue economy" movement applies sustainability to the vast marine environment, which encompasses shipping; transportation; tourism; recreation; and the harvesting of fish, seafood, oil, gas, minerals, energy and even water itself.
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