National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy


Eli P. Fenichel, Ben Milligan, and Ina Porras et al.

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Fenichel, E.P., B. Milligan, I. Porras et al. 2020. National Accounting for the Ocean and Ocean Economy. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at https://www.oceanpanel. org/blue-papers/national-accounting-ocean-ocean-economy


Transitioning to a sustainable ocean economy will depend on better coordination and management of humanity’s relationship with the ocean. This task requires the gathering and analysis of a large amount of information that is currently disorganised or missing. This Blue Paper scrutinises the role that national accounts can play in providing information in critical areas of the ocean economy. The paper emphasises the need to develop data structures to anticipate unintended consequences of decisions, such as inequity and habitat degradation. In response to this necessity, the paper proposes four principles of accounting for a sustainable ocean economy. These principles will allow us to move from the usage of a single marine GDP indicator and thereby account for the ocean’s true contribution to society and the economy. We are delighted to be able to share this paper with you, as it offers accounting guidelines that can help promote a sustainable ocean economy.

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