Blue Economy and Maritime Security

Blue Economy and Maritime Security


The relation between Blue Economy and Maritime Security is a new and developing concept whereby the both are mutually dependent on the other. In recent times, there are many Maritime Security forums who are in support of this Blue Economy especially in the Indian Ocean Region. Maritime security offers a safe and secure blue economy through its functions like safeguarding navigational routes, providing important oceanographic data to marine industries and many other functions. Such functionality of the Maritime security is considered to be a source of future economic development. In economical terms, it can be understood that an expanded blue economy will create an increased demand for Maritime security capabilities which will in turn result in greater investments and trade via marine routes. This article primarily discusses about the relationship between Blue Economy and Maritime security.

Concept of Blue Economy:-

The Blue Economy is a budding concept encouraging better stewardship of our ocean or blue resources. It emerges from the Commonwealth Blue Charter which highlights the close linkages between the ocean, climate change and the well-being of the people at the Commonwealth. The Blue economy is often referred in terms of business purpose whereby various large scale industries carry the objective of boosting their ocean economies through the exploitation of marine resources such as transport through shipping, commercial fishing, oil, gas and many other things. Not only this concept focuses on the profit of large scale industries, but also targets the small island states who has a large marine resources at their disposal by economically strengthening through the eradication of unemployment, illiteracy, and such other problems.

Just as the Green Economy which focuses on low carbon emission, resource efficiency and social inclusiveness, the blue economy also focuses on the betterment of human wellbeing and social equity while significantly reducing natural hazards.

The Blue economy cannot be just confined to the promotion of business via the sea, but it is seen also as a measure for the overall development of the blue resources like the traditional ways of life, low carbon emissions and coastal resilience.

Relation between Blue Economy and Maritime Security:-

The word Maritime Security in relation to the term Blue economy is a poorly defined one. However, there are four key ways in which the word ‘maritime security’ can be understood as follows :-

Sea Power:-

The traditional role of Maritime security was the protection of States, patrolling and protecting the sea routes including claimed Maritime zones and boundaries through its naval forces.

Marine Safety:-

Another important role of Maritime security was to inform about any possible threats to ships or Maritime installations. The security also had the responsibility to respond to any Maritime disasters that took place while on the sea.

Economic Development:-

One of the important role of Maritime security forces was in the prevention of piracy and smuggling by enforcing various laws and regulations thereby providing a secure maritime environment leading to a greater economic development.

Human Security:-

Not only the maritime security agencies stress on the prevention of smuggling or piracy, but they also have a responsibility for the prevention of human trafficking.

These are the four keys by which the function of a Maritime security can be understood.

The relationship between Blue economy and Maritime security is a direct relationship rather than an inverse one. Since the concept of Blue economy is emerging at a fast rate, the need for an improved Maritime security is a must have for all the nations whose economy is mainly dependent on marine resources. Thus, the maritime security agencies help in the development of blue economy in a number of ways. Some of them are discussed as follows:-

Extraction of non-living resources:-

The extraction of non-living resources mainly include things like oil and gas extraction, future deep seabed mining operations or renewable energy re-generation. Such activities, however, take place in the Exclusive Economic Zones or in the territorial waters of a State, but in some cases, the extraction happens in the high seas which is normally beyond any national jurisdiction. For such cases, the maritime security agency frames certain jurisdictional questions and policies for the management, expansion and development of the Blue Economy.

Harvesting of Living Resources:-

The harvesting of living resources include the extraction of living resources from the ocean like fisheries, deep sea plants and material resources for bio- technology. The major question that comes up for such harvesting is the common property area, which requires a coordinated and methodological approach. The maritime security has played a significantly important and diplomatic role in eradicating threats to the effective management of such resources.

Commerce and Trade around the Ocean:-

This is considered to be the most important role of the maritime security in developing the blue economy. Marine transport is considered as the backbone of the world economy as more than 80% of the commercial transactions take place through the sea. However, many eminent threats stands in this way the most common being piracy which takes place after a ship crosses a national jurisdiction. The maritime security agencies assures and protects the goods from such threats thereby enabling a smooth trading function around the Ocean.

Ecosystem Protection:-

The Blue Economy concept not only focuses on the development of world economy but also a better lifestyle for the humans and the nature as well. In the past years, there has been a lot of hazardous materials being dumped in the oceans by huge industrial factories, thus defeating the very objective of the Blue economy of an healthier ecosystem. The maritime security plays an important part here by enabling various strict laws preventing the dumping of such hazardous materials in the sea.

The four key points as mentioned above regarding Maritime security also in turn help in the development of blue economy. The most important being ‘ sea power’ , which has enhanced a lot through an increased emphasis on delimitation of Maritime jurisdiction and increased activity across the maritime zones. The maintenance of security and peace through international diplomacy, various aid programs, all contribute to the growing economic relationships resulting in the further development of the blue economy.


The analysis of both the Maritime Security and Blue Economy has led to one thing, that is both these concepts are mutually dependent on the other. Without Maritime security, the blue economy concept could never have been achieved and there would be no further development of Maritime security if such a concept was not brought into the world. The Blue Economy as a concept has evolved out of the increased potential of the maritime resources contained within national boundaries, and to ensure the smooth functioning of such concept, the maritime security frames various laws and regulations which allows the extraction of such resources from the national jurisdiction by following the rules framed by the security agency. Thus, with an increased role of Maritime security, there will be an increased source of economic activity thereby contributing to the development of the world economy as a whole.

Author: Soubhratra Bhattacharjee,
4th Year, Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College/ Law student

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