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March 1, 2021

Blue Economy: How a Handful of Companies Reap Most of the Benefits in Multibillion-Dollar Ocean Industries

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Researchers at Duke University and the Stockholm Resilience Center discovered in a recent study that a relatively small number of companies, headquartered in a few countries, generate most of the revenues from using the ocean. In 2018, the 100 largest companies took an estimated 60 percent of all revenues in eight core ocean industries. Dubbed the Ocean 100, this group of companies generated $1.1 trillion in 2018, equivalent to the GDP of Mexico—the 15th largest economy in the world.

As part of The Conversation's Ocean 21 series, three of the study's authors—the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin and the Stockholm Resilience Center's Henrik Österblom and Jean-Baptiste Jouffray—explored the risks of such a high concentration of wealth in the ocean economy, as well as the potential for the Ocean 100 to lead the way in making their industries more sustainable.

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