News - Blue Economy

The balance between protecting ocean resources and still relying on them for livelihoods is at the heart of what is known as the blue economy. Duke Stories explores how scholars across Duke, including at the Nicholas Institute, are working to expand humanity’s understanding of the ocean, consistent with the university's mission to seek solutions to the world's most pressing problems.

Small-scale fisheries are central to solving many problems in the oceans, such as overfishing or loss of natural habitats, as well as on land by addressing poverty and hunger in places where jobs and quality nutrition are limited, write John Virdin and Xavier Basurto.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University has awarded funding to six research projects for Fiscal Year 2019–20 through the institute's Catalyst Program.

Now in its third year, the Catalyst Program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies.

Pacific Catalyst, a partnership of fishery management experts in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific (USP), today announced their official launch and described several projects they have underway. They also introduced their new website at PacificCatalyst.org.

The Illuminating Hidden Harvests study will provide critical knowledge and information on small-scale fisheries globally, informing the way forward for sustainable development of the sector. 

John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, was among the participants at the Workshop on Blue Natural Capital in Lisbon, Portugal.

Pacific Catalyst is a partnership of the University of the South Pacific, the University of Wollongong, Duke University, iTunaIntel and Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Transform Aqorau, former deputy director of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and former CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement is founding director of the new coalition.

The latest edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report—the bi-annual flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department—was released today.

Researchers from Duke University, including our Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director John Virdin, are playing a role in organizing an international symposium, July 9 in Rome, Italy, on small-scale fisheries’ contributions to sustainable development and food security.

The blue economy concept could help policy makers more fully consider the marine environment together with economic growth to help meet the United Nation’s oceans sustainable development goal. John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is studying how governments in the United States and abroad might apply the blue economy concept to increase rates of economic return without depleting or damaging ocean ecosystems, which would put not only natural resources but also jobs and economic growth at risk.