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What is the Blue Economy and why is it important?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Learn more about this concept and how TideWise is contributing to ocean conservation

The conservation of rivers, seas and oceans is one of the great challenges for an increasingly sustainable future. According to UN Environment, it is estimated that overfishing, pollution, coastal urban development and climate change alone have caused a 50% decline in coral reefs over the last 30 years.

In this sense, the Blue Economy seeks more sustainable solutions when it comes to using the seas and oceans as a source of innovation and growth for economic development in line with good environmental practices.

In this blog, we'll explore the intersection between autonomous vessels and the blue economy, highlighting how TideWise is pursuing sustainable and efficient solutions for the maritime industry.

What is the Blue Economy?

The Blue Economy is a concept that refers to the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources, with the aim of promoting economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation. This approach encompasses a wide range of sectors, including fisheries, maritime transport, coastal tourism, renewable energy, aquaculture and much more.

In summary, the Blue Economy seeks to reconcile economic development with environmental sustainability and social inclusion, recognizing the value of the oceans as a source of economic opportunities and as a fundamental ecosystem for life on the planet.

According to the European Commission, the Blue Economy agenda can:

  • Contribute to the mitigation of climate change, developing offshore renewable energy, decarbonizing maritime transport and making ports green;

  • Make the economy more circular by renewing fishing standards, ship recycling and decommissioning offshore platforms;

  • Develop a green infrastructure in coastal areas, which will help preserve biodiversity and landscapes, benefiting tourism and the coastal economy.

How was the blue economy born?

The blue economy concept was first introduced by Gunter Pauli, a Belgian entrepreneur, in his book “The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs”. Jobs), published in 2010. Pauli proposed an economic model based on the principles of nature and the sustainable use of marine resources.

The idea behind the blue economy arose from the need to rethink traditional development models and explore the potential of the oceans as a source of innovation, economic growth and job creation, while protecting the marine environment.

Pauli argued that the oceans hold an abundance of untapped resources that could be used efficiently and sustainably to meet human needs. He proposed a series of projects and solutions based on biomimetics, that is, the application of principles inspired by nature to solve problems and develop technologies.

Since then, the blue economy concept has been widely discussed and embraced by governments, international organizations, businesses and coastal communities around the world. It highlights the importance of an integrated and sustainable approach to the management of marine resources, aimed at conservation and the creation of inclusive economic opportunities.

How can the use of autonomous vessels help in the development of the blue economy?

The use of autonomous vessels can play a significant role in the development of the blue economy, which refers to sustainability and economic growth related to oceans and marine resources. These autonomous vessels, like the USV Tupan, developed by TideWise, have the ability to operate independently, much more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

How does the Blue Economy apply at TideWise?

At TideWise, the Blue Economy is one of the fundamental foundations for our activities and business. We apply the principles of the blue economy in several aspects of our work, mainly in the provision of services related to maritime transport and in the conservation of marine biodiversity.

Here are some ways the Blue Economy applies at TideWise:

- Environmental Sustainability: We consider environmental sustainability as a core value in our operations. Our autonomous vessels are designed to minimize fuel consumption and pollutant emissions, thus reducing the impact on the marine ecosystem. For example, the use of the USV Tupan, TideWise's autonomous vessel, reduces fuel use in operations by up to 98% compared to conventional vessels.

In addition, by integrating a wide range of sensors to the USV Tupan, we can also monitor water quality in real time, identify the direction and speed of winds, currents and verify other relevant data. In this way, we can help our customers achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their environmental impact.

  • Data collection and monitoring: One of the services TideWise offers is data collection using LiDAR and Multibeam Echosounder sensors. These sensors are used to carry out bathymetry, which consists of measuring the depth of oceans, lakes and rivers, it is essential for port access channel monitoring services, diagnosis of possible silting, forecasting and planning of dredging, maintenance of port draft , widening of beaches, underwater archaeological research and other purposes.

  • Marine conservation and research: Autonomous vessels such as the USV Tupan can support marine conservation and scientific research by providing access to remote and hard-to-reach areas such as coral reefs, protected areas and polar regions. They can carry out biodiversity studies, monitor endangered marine species, conduct oceanographic research and carry out environmental impact studies.

  • Identification of the presence of oil at sea: Our USV has the ability to be integrated into an autonomous drone landing and takeoff system, used to identify and monitor oil spills at sea. This integration won the 2020 ANP Technological Innovation Award and demonstrated in the North Sea in a contract with the Elia Group, which attests to its relevance for Brazilian technology.

This entire system was developed in the ARIEL project (Autonomous Robot for Identification of Emulsified Liquids), the result of a partnership between Repsol Sinopec do Brasil, TideWise and the laboratories of COPPE/UFRJ LEAD, LAMCE and SMT. To learn more about the project, watch the video:

These are just some of the areas in which TideWise has been supporting and applying the Blue Economy in its business. As we navigate towards a more sustainable future, we want to continue contributing to the transformation of the maritime industry, technological innovation and raising awareness of the importance of protecting and conserving our precious marine resources.

Join us on this journey! For more information on how we can contribute to more sustainable solutions for your business, contact us by email or WhatsApp +55 (21) 3923-5694.

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