The Blue Bioeconomy is the '(commercial) use and conversion of living aquatic resources (such as algae, mussels or jellyfish) into a wide variety of products and services such as food, feed, biobased materials and bioenergy. It is still a relatively young concept, but it is driven by increasing interest, knowledge and technical developments. Often, initiatives and companies are still at the R&D or start-up stage.
Products from the Blue Bioeconomy include novel foods and food additives, animal feeds, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, materials as well as energy. Businesses that grow the raw materials for these products, that extract, refine, process and transform the biological compounds, as well as those developing the required technologies and equipment all form part of the blue bioeconomy. Services from the Blue Bioeconomy can include the closing of the nutrient loop from agriculture, aquaculture and other sectors, and it also has the potential to create many employment opportunities and a generally healthier and more prosperous society.
The SUBMARINER Network has promoted these topics from its inception and does not only work with Blue Bioeconomy topics, but also specifically with tools, including Maritime Spatial Planning, Multi-Use and Smart Specialisation.
Source: European network ERA-NET BlueBio COFUND and Bioökonomie.de
In the Baltic Sea Region, one of the greatest difficulties in realizing a blue bioeconomy was that no country can – on its own – provide all the resources and expertise necessary to complete the journey from idea to product. Blue biotechnology is a strong ally to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 of the United Nations. The Alliance project categorised each of its cases according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with each case on average contributing to 4 SDGs.
In addition, mussel farming in the Baltic reduces nutrient concentration, by removing nutrient rich phytoplankton and recycle the nutrients to new biomass of mussels. The sector thus contributes to SDG 14, but also many others.