News: The Interim Budget presented by the Finance Minister stressed on environment-friendly development through the promotion of ‘blue economy’.

About Blue Economy:

  • Generally, the term blue economy refers to economic activities related to the sea and the coasts; it is generally understood to have an element of sustainability in it.
  • According to the European Commission, Blue Economy refers to “all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts. It covers a wide range of interlinked established and emerging sectors”.
  • The World Bank says the blue economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.”

Objectives of Blue Economy:

  • It has been to promote smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth and opportunities within the Indian Ocean region’s maritime economic activities and initiate appropriate programmes for the sustainable harnessing of ocean resources, research, and development.
  • As of 2023, India is among the top 5 fish exporting countries in the world and it is the third largest fish producing and 2nd largest aquaculture nation in the world after China. Blue Economy is the sixth dimension of Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030.

Regarding Blue Economy from the Interim Budget:

  • A scheme for restoration and adaptation measures, and coastal aquaculture and mariculture with integrated and multi-sectoral approach will be launched
  • Setting up of five integrated aqua parks, and the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) would be stepped up to “enhance aquaculture productivity from the existing three to five tonnes per hectare; double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore; and generate 55 lakh employment opportunities in the near future.
  • Restoration and adaptation will ensure the health of the oceans is not harmed while carrying out economic activities. While aquaculture is a broad term that refers to the farming of aquatic plants and animals, mariculture refers to rearing and harvesting marine creatures in saltwater.
  • The Budget document refers to blue economy 2.0. A draft policy framework on India’s Blue Economy was first released in July 2022.

The draft Blue Economy Policy Document for India has been prepared by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). The document recognizes the following seven thematic areas.

  1. National accounting framework for the blue economy and ocean governance.
  2. Coastal marine spatial planning and tourism.
  3. Marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing.
  4. Manufacturing, emerging industries, trade, technology, services, and skill development.
  5. Logistics, infrastructure and shipping, including trans-shipments.
  6. Coastal and deep-sea mining and offshore energy.
  7. Security, strategic dimensions, and international engagement.


Overfishing: It can lead to the depletion of fish stocks and harm the marine ecosystem.
Marine Pollution: Pollution from sources such as oil spills, plastic waste, and industrial effluent can harm marine ecosystems and have negative impacts on the blue economy.
India-Sri Lanka Fishing Conflict: The boundary between Indian and Sri Lankan waters in the Palk Bay is not clearly defined.
Climate Change: Rising sea levels, negative Indian Ocean dipole and other impacts of climate change can pose risks to coastal communities.

Initiatives taken by Government:

Blue Revolution 2.0/ Neel Kranti Mission: Neel or Nili Kranti Mission in India was launched in 1985-1990 during the 7th Five-Year Plan. The main objective is to develop, manage, and promote fisheries to double the farmers’ income.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana : It aims to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
Initiative under the MGNREGA: To clean and revive the inactive ponds in the rural areas.
India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development since Norway is an expert on the subject of the Ocean Economy as 70% of Norway’s export is from Norway’s maritime industry.
Sagarmala Project: The vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics costs for EXIM (Export-Import) and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment through port development.
O-SMART Scheme: It also aims at addressing ocean development activities such as technology, services, resources, science, and observations as well as offering required technological assistance for implementing aspects of the Blue Economy.
New Fisheries Policy: The aim of the new fisheries is to increase fish productivity by bringing the entire water area available in the state under fisheries, as well as to provide self-employment to the people by promoting quality fish seed production and fisheries.
Deep Ocean Mission: The DOM is in line with the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Blue Economy Initiatives; it aims to address scientific and economic challenges associated with ocean exploration and resource utilization.

During the G20 summit, the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) chaired the Engagement Group for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAls) of the member countries in June 2023. Two priorities for the SAI20 deliberations were blue economy and responsible Artificial Intelligence.

Blue Economy supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 ‘life below water’. For a country like India, with a long coastline, diversity in terms of fish and other ocean produce, and multiple tourism opportunities, the blue economy is highly significant.


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