The global ocean covers 71% of the planet and generates USD 2.5 trillion a year of goods and services — making the ocean the 7th largest economy in the world.

Sustainable use development of the dynamic, interconnected global ocean presents unique opportunities and challenges for the private sector. As ocean health and resources decline, ocean industries are being increasingly held responsible for their impacts. As a result, private sector access to ocean resources, services and space — even by companies with the best environmental record — is at risk from the loss of the social license. There are many efforts by responsible companies to differentiate themselves from poor performers and try to do business more sustainably. However, the efforts of one company or even a whole sector are not enough to address collective global impacts by a diverse range of industries in a shared global ecosystem.

The private sector is well placed to develop and deliver solutions in response to society’s demands that marine ecosystem use is responsible and industry impacts are minimized. A cross-sectoral ocean business community of leadership and collaboration is needed to address marine environmental issues, differentiate good performers, create collaboration with like-minded companies within and across sectors, engage ocean stakeholders — and attract investment to those companies leading the way in ocean sustainable development.

Industry leadership is essential to ensuring both the long-term health of ocean and responsible industry use of marine space and resources. Responsible industry performers are well positioned to develop and drive business-oriented solutions to marine environmental challenges and to collaborate with other ocean industries and stakeholders in ensuring the health and continued economic use of the seas. There is business value in ocean industries engaging in a coordinated, systematic approach to addressing the challenges affecting the future of ocean business, creating opportunities for collaboration and economies of scale in developing solutions.

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