Indian blue economy


  • India has been leading the blue economy discourse at the highest level with its geographic and geostrategic position, putting greater focus on the Indian Ocean region.

    • Blue economy refers to a wide range of economic activities pertaining to the sustainable development of resources and possessions in the oceans, connecting rivers, water bodies and coastal regions and with a focus on equity, inclusion, innovation and modern technology.

Leading the blue economy

  • It is the world’s third largest water body, covering 70 million square kilometers with rich mineral resources and connectivity with global cities.
  • India has a vast coastline stretched over 7,517 kilometres and 1,382 offshore islands that bring generous resources and opportunities. Most coastal regions of India are densely populated and low-lying, with around 250 million people active within a 50-kilometre range of coast.
  • There are 486 census towns along the Indian coast, according to the Census data of 2011.
    • Of them, 36 are classified as Class I towns that have a population of more than 100,000 persons.
    • Twelve major ports and 239 non-major ports are located along the Indian coast.
    • More than 100,000 ships are estimated to transit close to Indian coastal shores per year.
  • India is the second-largest fish producing nation in the world with a fleet of 250,000 fishing boats.
  • In India, shipbuilding and shipping are also important aspects of the blue economy.
  • The archetypal of coastal shipping has the potential to increase to 33 per cent by 2035 from 6 per cent at present.
  • The blue economy of the Indian Ocean has become a corridor of the Global Economy as India is strategically located between two important plug points called Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca, through which most of trade in commercial shipping moves in the Indian Ocean.
  • India’s Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2 million square kilometres has a bounty of living and non-living resources with significant recoverable resources such as crude oil and natural gas.
Indian blue economy
Courtesy: World Bank

Key Challenges

  • Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is a serious threat
  • Adverse impact of marine litter

India envisions a blue economy will contribute to

  • food security,
  • poverty alleviation,
  • the mitigation of and resilience to the impacts of climate change,
  • enhance trade and investment,
  • enhance maritime connectivity,
  • boost diversification,
  • job creation and socio-economic growth

Key Initiatives undertaken by India promoting Blue Economy

  • Sagarmala Project
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
  • Swachh Sagar Surakshit Sagar campaign
  • India participates actively in the International Coastal Clean-up Day
  • National Marine Litter Policy
  • Blue beach development

Source: DTE

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